The private academy made headlines for their vaccine guidelines based on unproven and debunked claims, telling faculty not to return to school if they get vaccinated.

By Anna Halkidis
April 28, 2021
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A private school in Miami is making headlines over its policies regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, which go against all advice from health agencies and experts.

On its website, the Centner Academy published a note from CEO and co-founder Leila Centner telling employees to wait until the school year ends to get the vaccine and those who do get it will not be able to return until "clinical trials are complete." Those who want to get the vaccine before the school year ends must notify the school adding it "cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known." Employees who received the vaccine before April 21 must report it and keep a distance from students.

The school explains its choice saying the COVID-19 vaccines are still in an "experimental stage" without FDA approval. Clinical trials, it says, won't be complete until 2023 and the vaccine has "not been proven to prevent death from COVID or to prevent transmission of COVID." Centner also points to an unidentified study claiming unvaccinated people are "being negatively impacted" when interacting with vaccinated people, including menstrual cycle issues and miscarriages—none of which is supported by research by any health agency. The theory that COVID vaccines can be passed or "shed" from a vaccinated to unvaccinated person have also been debunked.

An image of a syringe and vial bottle on a turquoise background.
Credit: Getty Images.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) all emphasize the vaccine's safety and efficacy. They encourage all those eligible—currently 16 and older—to get vaccinated as it's a critical tool to help end the pandemic.

Clinical trials for all three vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—were completed and passed the requirements to receive FDA's emergency use authorization. To receive full FDA approval, adult clinical trials must continue for two years with safety and efficacy data. This is all standard practice for vaccines.

Millions of people in the United States have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. On its website, the CDC explains, "COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA's rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA)."

As for long-term side effects from the vaccine, the CDC says those are "extremely unlikely." Long-term side effects after vaccination are "extremely rare" and historically side effects from vaccines typically occur within six weeks.

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