We are reaching the stage in the US where people who have been vaccinated are being told that they pose little or no risk to themselves or others and can thus go about their daily activities without wearing masks. But it appears that the anti-vaxxers have also upped their game. Not being content with posing a health risk to others, they are now claiming that vaccinated people are a danger to them.
As reported by NBC News, the owner of a butcher shop in Ontario, Canada, banned all people who were vaccinated from COVID-19 to protect unvaccinated female customers.
“We have decided that since the majority of our customers are women and since women are most at risk for these side effects, we ask that if you’ve been vaccinated to please order for curbside pickup or delivery for 28 days after being vaccinated,” the post read on Instagram.
A separate store in Canada banned vaccinated customers for a fear of vaccinated people “shedding” the coronavirus to its unvaccinated customers. In the U.S., a private school in Miami barred vaccinated teachers from coming into contact with students. The same school threatened the employment of its vaccinated teachers.
How did this latest nonsense come about?
The conspiracy centers on one particular myth that people who are vaccinated can emit contagious particles of the coronavirus’s Spike protein and can infect others, a process referred to as “vaccine shedding.” Vaccine shedding is a very rare possibility with live-attenuated vaccines that use a diluted version of a disease to stimulate an immune response. In the rare case there’s enough germ to spread, the shedding usually happens via feces— for example, with the polio vaccine or the measles vaccine.
“For the measles vaccine, later in life — and again this is super rare — it’s possible that the live virus could revert to a condition called Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE),” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, infectious disease doctor and professor of medicine at the University of California–San Francisco. “But in no way can you shed it and give it to someone.”
The problem is that good scientists are cautious and rarely make unequivocal statements or give 100% guarantees because they know that there is always an element of uncertainty and doubt. They want to give a complete picture but in their efforts that being careful and nuanced they tend to inadvertently feed the craziness. In the above statements by Gandhi, the anti-vaxxers will ignore the “very rare” and “rare” and “super rare” modifiers she uses and will act as if what she is talking about is likely and even inevitable.
And why are women supposed to be particularly susceptible to danger if they are around vaccinated people?
Despite the “vaccine shedding” myth being continuously debunked by credible sources, iterations of the claim are becoming increasingly popular. Peculiarly, these myths have a tinge of sexism, as many of them revolve around false claims about women’s bodies, mirroring other falsehoods about women that have existed for centuries.
Specifically, there have been forms of the false claim that a vaccinated woman’s menstrual cycle can throw off an unvaccinated woman’s cycle, stoking fear and sowing divides between vaccinated and unvaccinated women. Naomi Wolf, a bestselling author who has been pushing conspiracy theories around the COVID-19 vaccines repeatedly, has tweeted about the claim a couple times.
Just like QAnoners saying that they seek to protect children from Satanic pedophilic rings occupying the highest echelons of society, saying you are protecting women enables the proponents of these theories to claim that they are acting out of noble motives and that those who disagree do not care about women and children.