Centner Academy bans students who get the COVID vaccine for 30 days

three men standing near window

The expensive, privileged, anti-vaccine Miami private school, Centner Academy, has decided to ban students for 30 days after they get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which was recently approved by the FDA for 12-year and older children. I’ve written about the Centner Academy before when they banned teachers who received the COVID-19 vaccine because of “shedding” concerns.

In April 2020, the school wrote to teachers that “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” They claim that vaccinated people could pass on the so-called harmful effects of the shot and have a “potential impact” on unvaccinated students and staff.

The school’s co-founder, Leila Centner, claims that those children (and teachers) who had received the COVID-19 vaccine can somehow shed the virus, which in turn can cause menstrual cycle irregularities, miscarriages, and sterility in other women just by being in close proximity to vaccinated people.

And just to be clear, there are no live, dead, or otherwise whole viruses in the vaccine, so the risk of shedding is approximately equal to zero. Nada, Nichts. Zilch. The probability of a COVID-19 vaccine shedding is approximately equal to the probability that I will win an Academy Award for something.

Centner wrote previously, “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” She must get this nonsense from Kelly Brogan, anti-vaccine quack, who seems to have something to do with Centner and this school.

Centner also cited debunked claims that the vaccine causes infertility based on “reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated. So, the Centner Academy bans vaccinated children (and teachers) based on debunked adverse events from nonexistent shedding. That’s a whole new level of pseudoscience.

Let’s be clear that that the scientific consensus states that this vaccine is is very effective and carries few risks.

Simply put, COVID-19 vaccine shedding does not exist, but I will spend a few moments debunking it again.

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Thanks to COVID-19, we beat the flu for the first time in history

a sick man covering his mouth

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a horrible experience for the past two years, but it had one silver lining – beating the flu.

As I have written before, the annual rite of winter life, flu outbreaks, became almost nothing during the 2020-21 flu season. On average, the flu infects roughly 30 million Americans every year and kills over 30,000. Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that over 650,000 people die of respiratory illnesses related to the flu.

As with COVID-19, the elderly, the poor, and people of color are all overrepresented among the victims of the flu. Moreover, the annual economic cost of the flu in the USA averages nearly $90 billion.

Of course, things changed during the 2020-21 flu season. The US had only around 2,000 cases of the flu. No, that is not a typo, there were only 2,000 flu cases in the USA during the 2020-21 flu season. In other words, there were 17,000 times fewer flu cases than the 35 million cases during the 2019-2020 flu season.

During the 2019-20 flu season, 199 children died of the virus. In 2020-21, only one child died.

In fact, other respiratory viruses nearly disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic – respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, and adenovirus. I’ve been watching infectious diseases for decades, and this was truly amazing.

So how can we stop the flu once the COVID-19 pandemic is done? And that’s where it gets complicated.

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The science of red meat and cancer – what does it say?

ingredients for delicious lunch with meat and vegetables

Over the past few years, there have been numerous stories about whether red meat increases the risk of cancer and other diseases. Well, the science on this is extremely complicated and nuanced, something doesn’t play well with clickbait headlines. People want to know The Truth™ about meat.

A few years ago we were flooded by memes, articles, and tropes laughing at us carnivores because the World Health Organization stated that eating red meat increases the risk of cancer.

Then recently, we were flooded by new memes, articles, and tropes when an article was published to tell us that red meat was safe, and did not cause cancer. Of course, that was followed up by even newer memes, articles, and tropes that that new article was junk, and red meat causes cancer. 

Even those of you with good scientifically skeptical minds (which includes a lot of vegans, who might have wanted to point fingers at us carnivores) are wondering if anyone knows anything about red meat and its relationship to any disease, let alone cancer. So I sliced some excellent salami and ate it with my GMO crackers – this old avian dinosaur did what he is supposed to do, he read the underlying scientific articles.

So, should you worry whether red meat increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases? I agree that there are a lot of issues about people eating beef, pork, and chicken for our individual health and for the health of the planet. But that’s outside of my bailiwick, and it will garner an incredible amount of yelling and screaming.

But I’m going to be brave (or not) and just try to answer the simple question of whether red meat increases the risk of cancer. And here we go.

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Severe COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease risk may share a genetic link

COVID-19 Alzheimer's disease

The risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and for severe COVID-19 appear to share a common genetic mechanism that is involved with the immune response to viruses. This does not mean that COVID-19 increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, only that there appears to be a single genetic variant that increases the risk for both.

Researchers found that one genetic variant in the oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) gene increases both the risk for AD of severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Risk for Alzheimer’s disease and susceptibility to severe COVID-19 share a common genetic mechanism involved in the immune response to viruses, according to a peer-reviewed article just published. The findings could lead to new treatment targets to slow the progression and severity of both diseases. If these findings bear out, it could suggest new drugs that could treat both diseases.

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My body my choice – another awful anti-vaccine trope

my body my choice

A common trope being pushed by COVID-19 vaccine deniers is “my body, my choice.” What they are saying is that they have a fundamental right to decide whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine (or any vaccine, for that matter).

Ironically, “my body, my choice” is a feminine slogan that was used in the abortion argument – it meant that it’s the woman’s body and it was her choice about abortion. Since much of the anti-vaccine movement, at least in the USA, is on the far right, I can bet most of these people would decry the pro-abortion meaning of “my body, my choice” – they don’t think women have a right to choose anything about their body. Except for vaccines, of course.

Despite their attempt to co-opt the actual meaning of “my body, my choice,” these anti-vaxxers are trying to push the narrative that there should be freedom of choice for vaccines.

But like most tropes in the anti-vax world, this one is a solid no – it does not make sense.

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Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is not linked to the HPV vaccine

acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

A recent case report about a death of a 15-year-old boy from a form of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) after receiving the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has been widely shared by anti-vaccine groups. Of course, I wanted to look into any potential link between ADEM and the HPV vaccine.

Before I start looking at the evidence, I must point out that case reports have little meaning in the hierarchy of vaccine research. To be honest, case reports, even if they’re published in high-quality journals, barely rise above anecdotes as evidence. Why? They are nothing more than a report without being able to establish causality. But most importantly, they represent an n=1 research population, which tells us little. And it doesn’t show correlation, let alone causation.

We’ve also discussed ADEM before – the tragic story of Christopher Bunch whose mother blamed the HPV vaccine for causing his ADEM.

Setting that aside, is there any evidence that shows any link (or lack of a link) between acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and the HPV vaccine? Let’s take a look at this evidence.

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COVID infection rates are NOT unrelated to vaccines – debunking research

people woman blur government

Here we go again – bad published research tries to convince us that COVID-19 rates are unrelated to the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in several countries and US counties. That would be interesting if not for the poor design and analytical methodology utilized by these researchers.

Of course, the second this kind of paper is published, every COVID-19 denier jumps on board to say “here’s the official proof that the COVID-19 vaccines are useless.”

I’m going to set aside the irony that anti-vaxxers love to argue that the bulk of vaccine research is garbage, usually bought by Big Pharma. But any “research” that supports their pre-conceived conclusion is, of course, Nobel Prize-worthy.

It’s frustrating, but my job is to critique this type of research. And this new paper that states that COVID-19 rates are not related to uptake levels of vaccines is a prime example of research filled with bad methodology, poor analytical procedures, and lots of bias.

Here we go again.

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COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths – UPDATED info about the new vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine facts

There are so many myths about the COVID-19 vaccine, I wanted to post some facts about the new vaccines which we can use for debunking purposes. I used to think that the HPV vaccine brought the most hatred and misinformation from the anti-vaccine world, but it’s clear that the new COVID-19 vaccines are their new targets.

This article will only focus on the five vaccines that I believe will eventually receive FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Janssen), and Novavax vaccines. I remain unconvinced that any vaccine made in China or the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will ever get approved by countries with robust drug regulatory agencies. However, if they are, I will certainly add them to a future iteration of this list.

I’m going to make this in a basic chart form for ease of use. I will link to supporting evidence wherever relevant.

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No graphene oxide in COVID vaccines – debunking another anti-vax myth

graphene oxide COVID-19 vaccines

While reading anti-vax propaganda, I found a claim that there is graphene oxide in COVID-19 vaccines. I know, what the everlasting F*** is graphene oxide and why is it in our COVID-19 vaccines?

Well, I decided to dig into this myth and figure out what this nonsense is all about. It’s been around for a few months, but it seems to be rearing its zombie meme head again in several places.

But you and I both know that if it comes from the mouth of an anti-vaxxer, we can be assured that it’s far from factual or scientific.

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Flu and COVID “twindemic” – more reasons to get both vaccines

flu COVID-19 twindemic

Infectious disease and public health experts are beginning to worry about a twindemic of flu and COVID-19 as we enter the winter. The start of the 2021-22 flu season added to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may make this winter particularly dangerous.

As I discussed previously, much of the world had the fewest cases of influenza than any time in recent history. COVID-19 pandemic mitigation, such as face masks, social distancing, fewer people traveling, fewer kids in school, and more people working remotely left precious little opportunity for the influenza virus to spread like it does in “normal winters.”

With the good news comes some potentially bad news. This article will look into reasons why a flu and COVID-19 twindemic may be coming to many countries across the world, including the USA. I don’t want to be the harbinger of the apocalypse, but I just want to present more reasons for everyone to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine to prevent this potential twindemic.

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