Have you heard of shedding season?
I’ll give you a hint, we aren’t talking about cats and dogs…
When is Shedding Season?
So it seems that some folks are really worried about vaccines and shedding.
While some vaccines do actually shed, it is really only the oral polio vaccine and the smallpox vaccine that we get concerned about with shedding.
And even then, shedding from the oral polio vaccine would only be a concern for someone with an immune system problem. Since the oral polio vaccine contains an attenuated virus, if that attenuated virus shed to someone else, they wouldn’t get polio except in the very rare situation when the virus mutates. Instead, they would get protection against polio. That’s one of the benefits of using the oral polio vaccine!
Still, we don’t use the oral polio vaccine in the United States anymore.
Although the smallpox vaccine can shed, it is from the site of injection, where a scab forms in the days to weeks after getting vaccinated. Covering the site should prevent other people from getting exposed to shed virus and fortunately, this vaccine is only used in very special situations.
And the rotavirus vaccine sheds, but you just have to wash your hands after changing diapers to avoid this attenuated virus. Are you going to get rotavirus if you are exposed to an infant who was recently vaccinated? Infants who get the vaccine don’t get rotavirus, so why would you if you are exposed to them?
And other vaccines?
While some live vaccines might shed in very specific situations, like if they caused a rare vaccine-induced disease, they otherwise don’t shed. That’s why we don’t worry about most folks with immune system problems getting exposed to people who have recently been vaccinated.
Don’t believe me?
Every time there is an outbreak of measles, someone insists that it was caused by a vaccine strain of measles that was shed from someone who was recently vaccinated. How often is that true?
So when is shedding season?
Anti-vaccine folks consider the start of the school year to be shedding season, because that’s when they think kids get caught up on their vaccines. Is that why we see big outbreaks of measles, chicken pox, and rotavirus at the start of the school year?
Oh wait, we don’t…
“Live vaccine virus shedding is a possible source of transmission of vaccine-strain viral infection but how frequently that occurs is unknown. There is no active surveillance of live virus vaccine shedding and most vaccine strain virus infections likely remain unidentified, untested and unreported.”
NVIC on The Emerging Risks of Live Virus & Virus Vectored Vaccines: Vaccine Strain Virus Infection, Shedding & Transmission
Despite the best efforts of anti-vaccine folks to scare parents about shedding, folks should know that this is no shedding season.
Cases of vaccine strain virus infections from shedding are unidentified and unreported because they don’t happen!
Do you need to teach your kids to fist bump instead of shaking hands during shedding season???
Think about it.
If there were a shedding season, then why wouldn’t there be more outbreaks? Because everyone has learned to fist bump and avoid shaking hands in school?
What to Know About Vaccine Shedding and Shedding Season
Shedding season isn’t a real thing.
More on Vaccine Shedding and Shedding Season
- “Vaccine Shedding”: Time Up For Another Vaccine Myth
- Can vaccines cause or spread diseases?
- Guest post: “Viral Shedding” is not something to worry about
- Vaccine Shedding : Should You Really Be Concerned?
- 18 assertions about vaccines: #17 All live virus vaccines shed and cause diseases
- Shedding poliovirus for 28 years
- The Chickenpox Vaccine and Shedding Concerns
- Ask the Experts about Rotavirus Vaccines
- Rotavirus vaccine shedding poses little risk
- Hot-Zone Schools and Children at Risk: Shedding light on outbreak-prone schools
- Do I Need to Avoid Being Around Infants After a Shingles Vaccine?
- An unexpected benefit of inactivated poliovirus vaccine
- More Rotavirus Vaccination Means Less Rotavirus
- Rotavirus vaccine shedding poses little risk
- 10 hypocrisies/double standards of the anti-vaccine movement
- Study – Safety of Rotavirus Vaccine in the NICU
2 thoughts on “When is Shedding Season?”
I always find it frustrating when parents want something to boost the immune system “naturally” without vaccines. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to protect against deadly illnesses. What’s better than that?
DrStuppy: Yep, any time I’m feeling sickness coming on, I grab a vial of aluminum salt, and give myself a quick injection. Ahhh… I love the burn of neuro toxin in the morning. But seriously, do you know why your body reacts to the vaccine? Because your body detects a deadly neuro toxin, it wants to kill it. I take it your ok injecting that into a developing newborn? Don’t bother to turn to natural things like a healthy diet, and vitamins. Turn to pharmaceuticals and magic shots, it’s just easier. By the way, who paid you to say what you said? Merck?