A private school in Miami, Florida, is requiring students who get vaccinated to quarantine at home for 30 days after each dose.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free,” a letter sent out to parents of students at the Centner Academy says, according to local news outlet WSVN.
The letter also urges parents to “hold off” on getting their children vaccinated until the summer “when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease.”
School officials told WSVN that the 30-day quarantine mandate exists because they believe there is a risk that vaccinated students would infect unvaccinated students.
One infectious disease expert who spoke with WSVN characterized that belief as “science fiction.”
“What happens 30 days after they get vaccinated? What kind of nonsense is this?” said Dr. Aileen Marty from Florida International University. “Where did they get that? There’s nothing in the recommendations to that… they made that up. That’s science fiction, not even science fiction because it’s pure fiction.”
None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in the US “contain the live virus that causes COVID-19,” a myth page published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reads. “This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.”
Additionally, early research has suggested that fully vaccinated people are less infectious than those who are unvaccinated. Health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s topmost coronavirus expert, said vaccinated people who contract the coronavirus are far less likely to spread it than unvaccinated people.
There is data that suggests there’s a hierarchy to the three approved vaccines in the United States, with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine performing the worst. Still, being vaccinated even with a Johnson and Johnson dose is better than not being vaccinated at all, according to health experts.
Vaccines might cause symptoms like fevers, the CDC says, but that’s normal and is a sign “that the body is building protection against the virus.” An Insider analysis of more than a dozen studies found that Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and AztraZeneca are highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Health officials are urging parents to vaccinate their kids against the coronavirus as soon as possible.
“Schools can promote vaccinations among teachers, staff, families, and eligible students by providing information about COVID-19 vaccination, encouraging vaccine trust and confidence, and establishing supportive policies and practices that make getting vaccinated as easy and convenient as possible,” an info page about vaccinating kids from the CDC reads.
The coronavirus and its variants have been spreading quickly across schools, infecting and sometimes killing students and teachers. An unvaccinated teacher in California infected 26 people with the coronavirus after removing their mask to read to the class. A Mississippi eighth-grader died of COVID-10 just a week into school in August. Two teachers in Texas died from COVID-19 just days apart, forcing the school district to temporarily close.
Centner Academy, which did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, defended the letter sent home to parents in a statement to WSVN.
“Centner Academy’s top priorities are our students’ well-being and their sense of safety within our educational environment. We will continue to act in accordance with these priorities,” officials told WSVN. “The email that was sent to families today was grounded in these priorities.”