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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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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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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Tobacco smokers are 6X more likely to die from COVID-19

no smokinh signage

I know this will shock everyone, but a recent study showed that tobacco smokers are 80% more likely to be admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 than non-smokers. And tobacco smokers are 6X more likely to die from COVID-19.

From the beginning, I assumed that smoking was one of the biggest comorbidities for COVID-19 hospitalization, but it took until now for an official, peer-reviewed paper to provide evidence.

So, add COVID-19 hospitalization and death to lung cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, all cancers, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and everything else as something that tobacco smokers should think about the next time they light up.

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Vaccine mandates are NOT rape – debunking another anti-vax trope

vaccine rape

Anti-vaxxers love their ridiculous strawman arguments against vaccines – recently, it’s comparing vaccine mandates to rape. Yes, you read this right they want you to believe that vaccination is equivalent to rape.

COVID-19 vaccine mandates (actually, any vaccine mandate from before the pandemic) have caused the anti-vaxxers to use all kinds of false equivalence and disgusting imagery in tropes from rape to the Holocaust. Some are even more disgusting, giving us an indication of the filth that encompasses the anti-vaccine world. But comparing vaccine mandates to rape is possibly the most disgusting, though we could argue about that.

The trope that mandated vaccination is rape has been around for a while. And the usual suspects on the pro-science side have done their best to demolish it. The secretive Orac wrote about it – “there’s a disturbing amount of rape imagery, both subtle and not-so-subtle, in the language used by antivaccinationists to describe vaccination.”

I’m actually running out of adjectives and adverbs to describe the activities of anti-vaccine zealots lately. But claiming vaccine mandates are rape is going to test my knowledge of the English language.

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