Home Lifestyle Health & Fitness Viral shedding: Does ‘COVID VACCINE’ pose a health risk to others?

Viral shedding: Does ‘COVID VACCINE’ pose a health risk to others?

Viral shedding: Does ‘COVID VACCINES’ pose a health risk to others?
Image Credit: Getty

Fears of ‘viral shedding’ and other issues after the COVID vaccine have prompted several companies to prohibit vaccinated clients from entering the premises, thinking covid vaccines present a health danger to others.

Understanding the length of viral shedding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and how it corresponds to a positive or negative PCR test is critical for implementing successful public health measures targeted at limiting the virus’s spread.

Viral Shedding

When a respiratory virus, such as SARS-CoV-2, infects a person, the virus particles attach to the different kinds of viral receptors that line the respiratory tract, especially the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in the case of SARS-CoV-2.

During this continuous process, infected people, who may not yet be suffering any viral symptoms, are shedding virus particles while they speak, breath, eat, and go about their everyday activities.

Under typical conditions, viral shedding will last just a few weeks; however, as researchers acquire a better knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance, they have discovered that some populations will shed this virus for considerably extended periods of time.

In reality, a growing body of data suggests that SARS-CoV-2 virus shedding starts before a patient becomes symptomatic, peaks at or soon after symptom onset, and may continue to be released long after the individual’s symptoms have subsided.

SARS-CoV-2 shedding

The length of viral shedding may be used to classify a person’s infectiousness; therefore, this information is critical in implementing successful infection prevention measures, such as proper quarantine periods and mask requirements.

SARS-CoV-2 infection is now verified by a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which may be performed independently of whether a person is having symptoms. Viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to have a median duration of 12 to 20 days, with a persistence that may reach up to 63 days after first symptom onset, according to such PCR testing.

Whereas about 90% of moderate cases were found to clear the virus after an average of 10 days of symptom start, people who recovered from severe illness had extended viral RNA shedding with a median duration of 31 days.

Aside from symptom intensity being a predictor of viral shedding length, the sample site seems to influence when peak viral levels occur. Peak viral loads in the upper respiratory tract (URT) seem to occur between days 4 and 6 after the start of symptoms, within a week of symptom onset, while peak viral loads in the lower respiratory tract appear to occur later.

SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in the form of faeces for up to 33 days after a negative PCR test; however, these viral loads seem to be lower than those seen in the respiratory tract and occur at a later period. Notably, viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 from the GI tract seems to be unrelated to illness severity.

What role does viral shedding play in viral transmission?

Unfortunately, the percentage of SARS-CoV-2 patients that are asymptomatic is yet unknown. The reported percentage of asymptomatic patients may vary from 1% to 78 percent.

Furthermore, it is unclear whether these “asymptomatic” cases are truly asymptomatic, in the sense that the infected individuals will never experience any viral symptoms, or are rather presymptomatic, in the sense that these individuals had no symptoms at the time of their positive PCR test but later developed symptoms.

Even in presymptomatic patients, the greater amount of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding from the URT is a significant component in the virus’s high transmissibility, especially when compared to its genetically identical precursor SARS, which mostly occurred in the lower respiratory tract.

Taken together, these reasons strengthen the argument for federal governments throughout the globe to impose national mask requirements on the general public, especially when people are in crowded outdoor or indoor areas.

Aside from viral shedding in asymptomatic and/or presymptomatic patients, this time-sensitive feature of SARS-CoV-2 may aid in a variety of public health monitoring initiatives.

During the 2002 and 2003 SARS outbreaks, as well as the current pandemic, experts theorised that live virus particles contained in faecal matter flowing through sewage pipes might infect people through aerosols or droplets.

SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been found often in patient faeces. However, additional data is required to establish if fecal-oral viral transmission is feasible by assessing the amounts of virus in faecal matter and its reproduction capacities.

Researchers may test wastewater supplies as a monitoring technique for community spread if they combine this information with information on the viral shedding time of SARS-CoV-2 from the GI tract.

What about COVID vaccines? Don’t they contain the live viruses to shed

However, no COVID vaccinations have been authorised for use anywhere in the globe thus far.

They instead utilise other technologies to educate our systems to recognise SARS-CoV-2 and build a protective immune response if we are ever exposed to it.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, is a viral vector vaccine. This method employs a modified chimp virus to deliver the genetic instructions for producing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the host. The instructions are then used by your body to produce the spike protein and to activate a protective immunological response.

Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that includes the genetic information that codes for the spike protein. Once within your cells, your body utilises those instructions to produce spike protein, eliciting another protective immune response.

COVID vaccinations do not cause the illness or result in a positive COVID test. They do not, once again, contain active or live viruses. They include spike protein fragments or instructions on how to produce them.

Even if you were to shed spike protein after immunisation, it would not be sufficient to induce an infection. That requires the whole virus, which vaccines do not contain.

Furthermore, the mRNA in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has a very limited half-life and is rapidly destroyed in human cells. Again, mRNA alone would not be sufficient to induce an infection. It would have to be packed within a live virus, which none of our vaccines includes.

So does it mean there’s no chance?

There is no risk of viral shedding from your COVID vaccines. If you must go to the store in an epidemic area, wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others.

If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to endanger others than if you are not.

Image Credit: Getty