As this infographic describes, it really isn’t that complicated…
What Does Vaccine Shedding Really Mean?
To clear up some things:
yes, some vaccines do actually shed, but it is rarely a reason to avoid getting vaccinated and protected
of the vaccines that we use routinely, shedding is limited to the rotavirus vaccines, FluMist, and the chickenpox vaccines
some other vaccines that can shed include the oral polio vaccine and the smallpox vaccine
the rubella component of MMR may very rarely shed, but only in breastmilk
If vaccines do shed, why shouldn’t we be more concerned about it?
Well, for one thing, most vaccines don’t shed.
DTaP, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, flu, IPV, HPV, meningococcal, pneumococcal, and Tdap shots – none of them shed.
And then there is the fact that:
when a vaccine sheds, it is the weakened or attenuated vaccine strain, not the wild strain that would cause more serious disease. Putting it another way, if the vaccine strain doesn’t make the person who is getting immunized sick, then why would it get someone else sick if they got it through shedding? Of course, there is a situation in which even a vaccine strain could be dangerous, and that’s for those who are severely immunosuppressed. Still, natural disease would be bad for these kids too!
even with oral polio vaccines, the problem isn’t really shedding, which actually provides a type of passive immunization in areas where polio is still not well controlled. The problem is that very rarely, the attenuated virus in the oral polio vaccine can revert to a form that can cause the person who was vaccinated to actually develop polio (VAPP). Now, shedding of this strain would be a problem, but only if the other person wasn’t immune.
rotavirus vaccines only shed in stool. You can avoid it by washing your hands when you change your child’s diapers, which you hopefully do anyway.
FluMist is attenuated and cold-adapted, which means that it won’t replicate well in our warmer nasal passages and respiratory tracts.
you have to actually get a rash, which is rare, for the chickenpox vaccine to shed.
it is only kids with eczema that usually get sick if they are exposed to someone who recently had the smallpox vaccine. Since the smallpox vaccine causes skin reactions, even the attenuated vaccine strain can cause severe reactions if a child’s skin is already broken down, like with eczema.
Are you still concerned about shedding?
Can a Vaccinated Person Transmit Measles Through Shedding?
To put your mind at ease, understand that you are not going to get measles from shedding.
“In this systematic review, we have determined that there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the measles vaccine virus.”
Greenwood et al on A systematic review of human-to-human transmission of measles vaccine virus
If you aren’t vaccinated and protected, you could easily get it from someone who has measles and who is shedding the wild type virus though. Measles is so contagious, you just have to be in the same room as someone with measles and you will likely get sick. In fact, you can enter a room a few hours after they have left and sill catch measles!
And in theory, if someone developed vaccine-associated measles – they got sick with a vaccine-strain of measles after getting vaccinated – then they could spread the virus to someone who wasn’t immune. That’s just because they would be contagious though, not anything specific to vaccines and shedding. Also, it is basically unheard of for this to happen.
They aren’t even people with measles. Instead, they typically have a vaccine reaction, a rash and/or fever after getting their MMR and they test positive for the vaccine strain of measles because they just got a live virus vaccine.
Is Vaccine Shedding a Threat?
Shedding isn’t the threat that anti-vaccine folks make it out to me.
Think about it. If it really was a big problem, then why don’t more intentionally unvaccinated kids with exemptions get sick when they are around kids who are vaccinated?
“Health officials should require a two-week quarantine of all children and adults who receive vaccinations. This is the minimum amount of time required to prevent transmission of infectious diseases to the rest of the population, including individuals who have been previously vaccinated.”
Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation
We don’t actually quarantine anyone after they are vaccinated, so why don’t more kids with immune system problems get sick via shedding?
Or just think about what happens in a typical daycare or school. All of the kids don’t get vaccinated on the same day, so if shedding was an issue, wouldn’t the kids who had gotten their vaccines first shed on the ones who weren’t yet vaccinated, getting them sick?
Of course, this doesn’t happen. Again, shedding isn’t the threat that anti-vaccine folks make it out to be.
Did New York Declare Medical Martial Law over a Measles Outbreak?
As most folks know, Rockland County Executive Ed Day made an emergency declaration banning unvaccinated kids from public places.
I guess because he was anticipating a freak-out from anti-vaccine folks, he went out of his way to say that the emergency declaration does not mean that law enforcement will be asking for vaccine records and that they are just trying to get the attention of parents, some of whom weren’t cooperating when their kids were sick.
So what was the reaction?
About as you would expect…
Medical martial law? An emergency declaration saying you will get a class B misdemeanor if your unvaccinated kid goes to the mall is the same thing as martial law? Ordinary laws have been suspended and the military is taking over?
If you listened to the press conference, the problem isn’t really that we need new laws, it is that some folks aren’t cooperating with existing ones. Again, in the middle of the longest outbreak in recent history, some parents who have kids sick with measles aren’t talking to health department officials who simply want to control and stop the outbreak.
What else is wrong with the Natural News post?
Of course, it is the stuff about shedding and “improperly weakened viral strains.”
In truth, measles outbreaks are started when unvaccinated folks travel out of the country, get measles, and bring it back to a community with a lot of other unvaccinated people. And tragically, sometimes folks who are too young to be vaccinated or who have true medical contraindications to getting vaccinated get caught up in these outbreaks.
Did they listen to the press conference? When did he say that they would be going door-to-door?
Is it actually legal to tell folks to riot and incite them to open civil disobedience?
Surpriginsly, most went to straight to comments about Hitler and concentration camps.
These are the leaders and heroes of the anti-vaccine movement.
To be clear, rabbis in the community have been telling folks to get vaccinated and protected!
“Whoever isn’t vaccinated is a murderer” reads a rabbinic letter recently signed by leading charedi rabbis in Israel, according to Yeshiva World News. The kol koreh was distributed after a spread of Measles in the ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel and around the world. Earlier this month an unvaccinated infant died, and more than 1300 people have been infected with a preventable disease. The Gedolim who signed the Kol Koreh include: Rav Yitzchak Silberstein, Rav Shimon Ba’adani, Rav Sriel Rosenberg, Rav Moshe Shaul Klein Rav Menachem Mendel Lubin.
As Measles Spread, Leading Charedi Rabbis Come Out Strongly Against Anti-Vaxxers
I wonder what the people in these communities would think of all of this holocaust imagery that anti-vaccine folks are using to try and keep the outbreaks going?
Yes, although anti-vaccine folks needlessly worry about shedding when kids get routine childhood vaccines and even talk about a shedding season, with the smallpox vaccine, problems with shedding are really a thing.
Since the smallpox vaccine is a live virus vaccine and since it very commonly causes a skin reaction at the injection site, shedding can spread it to others. While that’s a good thing with some vaccines, like the oral polio vaccine, because it increases herd immunity, it isn’t with the smallpox vaccine.
If the weakened smallpox vaccine can cause a skin reaction on your arm where you got the shot, what is it going to do if it gets on a child’s skin that is irritated all over with eczema?
It’s a good thing that we don’t routinely have to use the smallpox vaccine anymore.
“Because persons with eczema are deferred from vaccination, only a single, accidentally transmitted case of EV has been described in the medical literature since military vaccination was resumed in the United States in 2002.”