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.
COVID-19 vaccines and shedding
Let start right at the top – some vaccines can, in very rare circumstances, shed viruses. It’s one of the few anti-vaccine myths that have a tiny kernel of truth associated with it.
So, what is vaccine shedding?
According to Vaxopedia,
Shedding occurs when an infectious agent, typically a virus, can be found in urine, stool, and other bodily secretions. Shedding is not specific to vaccines though. Shedding occurs very commonly after natural infections too, which is one reason they are so hard to control.
Shedding does not occur in vaccines that use “inactivated” viruses – in this case, the infectious agent, in this case, viruses, is essentially dead. In the USA, the DTaP, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, flu, IPV, HPV, meningococcal, pneumococcal, and Tdap vaccines are inactivated and cannot shed.
On the other hand, COVID-19 vaccines have no virus, inactivated or otherwise, so by definition they cannot shed anything.
Let me remind everyone about each COVID-19 vaccine, just so we’re clear about the lack of potential of shedding. The mRNA vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, deliver an mRNA, or messenger RNA, segment to cells which then produce the S-protein antigen of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This induces an immune response that protects the individual against COVID-19 infection.
The mRNA segments stay in the cells until they are destroyed after a few minutes. It goes nowhere, it cannot be shed. The S-protein also doesn’t go anywhere – it cannot replicate, it does not shed. Moreover, the S-protein is only a tiny part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – it cannot recreate a whole virus from that small protein.
The COVID-19 vaccines from JNJ and AstraZeneca work in a slightly different manner. Basically, the adenovirus vector “carries” the genes for the S-protein to the cell which will reproduce the protein, then induce the immune response. The adenovirus is engineered to not replicate, so it also cannot shed. Once again, the adenovirus delivers the mRNA segment, then dies.
So, no COVID-19 vaccine has anything to do with shedding. Anyone who receives these vaccines will not miraculously send their mRNA or the S-protein across the air to others. And even if it did, it’s not going to do anything, because mRNA simply wouldn’t survive floating across the air.
The adenovirus or mRNA vaccines work in a manner that causes the cells of our body to produce the antigens against which our immune system is “trained” to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Shedding is just another one of those false claims pushed by desperate anti-vaxxers engaging in fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
The anti-vaccine Centner Academy misinformation
The Centner Academy does not require any vaccine for its students – so it’s a haven for anti-vaccine parents. I guess it’s also a haven for pro-disease people too since you can expect outbreaks for many other diseases.
And just to solidify how much they embrace pseudoscientific nonsense, they claim that the food they serve their children is non-GMO (GMO foods are safe) and non-gluten (less than 1% of children require a gluten-free diet). Anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, and anti-gluten – this school apparent doesn’t have science on its curriculum
The anti-vaccine nonsense from this school on COVID-19 vaccine shedding is disgusting and embarrassing. I cannot believe that they’re responsible for teaching children anything. The teachers, who probably are underpaid despite the high cost of the Centner Academy, are at risk not from shedding but from students who contract COVID-19 and spread the disease.
But I don’t know if there’s a way to shame this school – they should have been embarrassed by what they did to their teachers back in April. Now they double down with thoroughly debunked pseudoscience, putting their teachers, staff, and students at risk of a deadly disease.
Oh one more thing, if anyone cares – GMO- and gluten-free foods are not going to help in preventing or treating COVID-19.
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