Can Covid-19 Vaccines Cause Shedding Of Coronavirus? The Problems With Such Claims

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Let’s shed some light on these so-called Covid-19 “vaccine shedding” claims.

Some people are now asserting that the Covid-19 vaccine can actually cause you to shed the live Covid-19 coronavirus, which in turn could infect people who are not vaccinated. In this case, shed doesn’t mean put in the tool shed but rather release or expulse the live virus into your surroundings.

For example, a teacher at a private school in Miami reportedly warned students against hugging parents who have been vaccinated, as Patricia Mazzei covered for The New York Times:

And back in late April, Dr. Nina Shapiro covered for Forbes how the Sun City Silver and Gold Exchange in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, has been banning vaccinated customers from entering their store. In fact, Dr. Shapiro’s article included the following quote from Steve Merrill, the business’s owner: “We would rather not be exposed to people who have been vaccinated and who could shed the virus…Shedding is real, it’s a problem now and it is going to be a bigger problem as more and more people line up for these experimental vaccines.”

Meanwhile, some websites and social media accounts have been shedding such claims about “vaccine shedding” like dandruff. The following Twitter thread showed one such example:

Another “vaccine shedding” claim that has gone a bit viral, so to speak, is that vaccinated people may shed the Covid-19 coronavirus spike protein, which as the claim goes may affect others menstrual cycles:

Here’s the thing. In order to shed the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), you actually have to have the live SARS-CoV2 in your body. The currently available Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johns & Johnson do not contain the live Covid-19 coronavirus. They don’t even contain the dead Covid-19 coronavirus. What they do contain are “blueprints” that help your cells make the spike proteins that stud the surface of the SARS-CoV2. Recall that the virus looks like a spiky massage ball or the spiked ball at the end of those maces used in BDSM in case that offers a clearer picture. The spike protein is like Jennifer Aniston’s hairstyle, not that her hair is made out of virus spike proteins. Spike proteins by themselves are not the same as the entire Covid-19 coronavirus. Just as Aniston’s hair alone cannot say things like, “noooooo”on a Friends reunion show, the spike protein in absence of the other parts of the virus is not enough to function as a live Covid-19 coronavirus and infect you or other people. So how exactly can the vaccine make you shed the live virus when the vaccine doesn’t even put the virus in your body?

By getting your cells to produce a limited amount of the spike protein, the vaccine then exposes your immune system to just the spike protein. Your immune system then is supposed to scream from the top of its cells “what’s going on,” and begin marshaling defenses against anything that looks like the spike protein. So after you get fully vaccinated, should an actual SARS-CoV2 come along, your immune systems is more ready to sing “hey-ey-ey, hey-ey-ey, hey, a-what’s going on,” and more likely to successfully fend off the virus.

There’s no evidence that the spike protein by itself can harm your or others’ bodies. There’s also no evidence that you will shed the spike protein in substantial amounts after getting vaccinated. The spike protein isn’t like perfume or cologne. Don’t expect someone to walk by and remark, “is that Chanel Number B.1.1.7 or One 1 Million spike proteins that I am sensing?”

Telling people that vaccinated people may pose an infection risk to the unvaccinated would be a plot twist in the order of “Luke, I am your father, am a member of your PTA, and have simply been trying to play wiffle ball with you all this time.” In fact, the opposite is true: with the virus still very widespread, unvaccinated people are at a much, much higher risk of carrying the virus and thus infecting others. Since the Covid-19 vaccines are not like gigantic concrete full-body condoms and do not offer perfect protection, those still fully vaccinated still need to keep their distance from those who may be carrying the virus. Keeping distance means staying at least six feet or one Denzel (because Denzel Washington is about six feet tall) from others, especially those not fully vaccinated.

One of biggest problems facing our society right now is how many people have chosen to shed science when spreading information and making decisions. In this case, shed means remove, discard, and allow to fall to the ground, a bit like when actor Matthew McConaughey sheds his shirt. (Alright, alright, alright, this is not saying that McConaughey doesn’t believe in or follow science. This is only a shirt reference.) Shedding science may be OK in fictional movies and TV shows. But in real life, especially during a real crisis, not following science could land our society in the tool shed, so to speak.

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