A Facebook post suggesting multiple schools in Florida have stopped hiring teachers based on their COVID-19 vaccination status is misleading, while a further claim of vaccine “shedding” is false.
The post, from May 2, has been shared hundreds of times and appears to be a screenshot taken from another account. It reads: “Florida schools now won’t employ teachers that have had the maxine [sic] due to shedding. Looks like the tables have started to turn.” (here)
Despite the post’s suggestion, just one school in Florida has expressed such a policy. The Centner Academy in Miami, a private facility run by a husband-and-wife team, has been widely criticised for the move, which has also had its legal basis questioned (here).
“It is our policy, to the extent possible, not to employ anyone who has taken the experimental COVID-19 injection until further information is known,” reads a letter sent to parents that was posted to Instagram by the school’s co-founder Leila Centner (here). “This was not an easy decision to make. We made this decision with several doctors who are on the front line investigating the reported issues as described below. It was a consensus from our advisors that until this topic is investigated more thoroughly, it is in the best interests of the children to protect them from the unknown implications of being in close proximity for the entire day with a teacher who has very recently taken the COVID-19 injection.”
Citing an example, Centner says there are “tens of thousands of women” reporting “adverse reproductive issues from being in close proximity with those who have received any one of the COVID-19 injections”.
She adds: “No one knows exactly what may be causing these irregularities, but it appears that those who have received the injections may be transmitting something from their bodies to those with whom they come in contact.”
Centner’s comments refer to the concept of “shedding”, which was frequently used in the early days of the pandemic to describe people transmitting or emitting coronavirus particles. However, experts have told Reuters that people cannot “shed” COVID-19 vaccines (here).
“This is a conspiracy that has been created to weaken trust in a series of vaccines that have been demonstrated in clinical trials to be safe and effective,” said Dr Christopher Zahn, Vice President for Practice Activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the leading United States organisation for medical professionals in women’s healthcare.
Speaking to Reuters on a previous article, Zahn said the vaccines were “our single best tool for confronting a global pandemic that has taken 600,000 lives in this country [the U.S.] alone”. He added that “such conspiracies and false narratives are dangerous and have nothing to do with science”.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told Reuters: “There is no way for a COVID-19 vaccinated person to ‘shed vaccine’ […] COVID-19 vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause COVID-19. Therefore, people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine cannot shed the virus or the vaccine.”
Partly false. Only one school in Florida has said it will temporarily avoid hiring teachers who have had the vaccine, citing vaccine shedding as a reason. However, experts have told Reuters it is not possible for people to “shed” COVID-19 vaccines.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .