Since vaccination has been such a hot topic for a while now we thought we’d talk to an expert in Chinese medicine, lay it all out on the table and have a nice chat about it.

Firstly, Chinese medicine does not oppose vaccination.

In fact, in ancient practices of variolation (or inoculation as it is also known) was the first method used to immunize smallpox in China and was recorded all the way back in the seventeen-century.

Back then there were four methods of variolation:

  1. inserting a cotton with smallpox pus in the nostril of a child;
  2. using squama if fresh pus was not available;
  3. putting the clothes of a sick child on the body of the healthy child,
  4. blowing the powdered squama into the nostril of the healthy child.

As described, variolation was implemented via the respiratory system or skin contact, rather than injection directly into the blood stream as used in modern methods of vaccination.

This less invasive method of inoculation allows the body’s immune system to adapt at a more manageable pace. In Chinese medicine, the body’s immunity has four levels of defences:

  1. skin
  2. respiration
  3. nutritive
  4. blood.

The skin is the most superficial layer of defence and protects us from the most contact pathogens. If pathogens manage to invade our body via the respiration, they are blocked by the mucosal surfaces in our lungs. (Flores, 2011) If the nasties enter our digestive system, our gut flora and intestinal barriers kick into action. Pathogens may enter directly into the blood stream via an open wound but also via vaccination.

If you imagine military defence, vaccination is almost like sending a mole directly into the heart of the enemies’ territory, bypassing all other levels of security.

The other consideration is with the administration of a cocktail of vaccines rather than a singular vaccine at a time. In our modern obsession with multi-tasking, we are even expecting the delicate immune system of our children to deal with more than one vaccine at one time.

If you have decided to have your child vaccinated, this is what you can do to make sure your child adapts and recovers well.

  • First: if your child is sick, postpone the vaccination. If the immune system is already battling, why add fuel to fire?
  • Second: prepare your child by strengthening the immune system before the vaccination. We train our men and boys before sending them to the frontline, right? Give them healthy meals but DO NOT overfeed. Take a paediatric probiotic. Clear any lingering illnesses.
  • Third: your child should have a fever or swelling after the vaccination. This is a good sign that the immune system has kicked in. If not, have they taken a panadol? Panadol suppresses the immune response, so what’s the point of using the vaccination to train the immune system? If they have not taken any suppressant, yet still did not have a fever, then the child has a weaker constitution and may be prone to recurrent illnesses.
  • Fourth: instead of panadol, give them one or two doses of Yin Qiao San after vaccination. This is a Chinese herbal formula that clears fever. This is followed by 4 days of Xiao Chai Hu Tang to clear any lingering pathogen. Xiao Chai Hu Tang may be needed one week later if the child does not seem to have completely regained his vigour.

We hope this information helps concerned parents deal a little better with the ongoing current vaccination issue.


Flores, O.D.C. (2011) Innate and adaptive immune responses in the lungs. Stockholm University, Sweden. Accessed 28 May 2015.

Leung, A.K.C. “Variolation” and Vaccination in Late Imperial China, Ca 1570–1911 Accessed 28 May 2015.

About the author:

Kaikit Wong a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Acupuncturist and Herblist at Vital Energetic. She is passionate about supporting more women from natural conception to easy birth to beyond. Learn how Chinese medicine can help you create health and happiness at:



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