A Kelowna hair salon's policy refusing service to those recently vaccinated is based on bad science, according to Interior Health.
NJ's Organic Hair Salon touts itself as "a new, organic hair salon. Our mission is to create a salon experience natural and healthy for you, your family and the planet."
The salon owner, Najim tells Castanet he added a notification to his online booking process to keep himself, his clients and staff safe.
Now when you book an appointment online, before you proceed to the booking page you are asked to agree to the terms and conditions which include this statement:
"Please note, if you have been sick or tested positive with SARS-CoV-2 or received a vaccine within two weeks prior to a scheduled appointment, including the flu shot or Covid Vaccine. We request that you notify the salon to change your appointment to reschedule, to protect the staff and client from the potential of viral shedding."
According to WebMD, "viral shedding occurs when a virus replicates inside your body and is released into the environment. At that point, it may be contagious. For the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it's not known exactly when this occurs after someone is infected."
We asked Interior Health's chief medical health officer, Dr. Albert de Villiers if the salon's policy was necessary, or if it's possible to shed the virus because of the vaccine.
"There are some vaccines that are live vaccines, where you can actually after you get the vaccine, you can shed the virus because it's an actual live vaccine. With the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot — no."
Dr. de Villiers says the COVID-19 vaccine contains pieces of the RNA (Ribonucleic acid) of the virus, rather than the whole thing.
"To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies," says the U.S. CDC.
Najim told Castanet he added the notification after he spoke to a naturopath.
But as Dr. de Villiers says, "we do not give you the live virus, so you cannot shed the virus."