Speed Reads


An anti-vax conspiracy theory is apparently making anti-maskers consider masking up, social distancing

"A conspiracy ripping through the anti-vax world may finally drive some anti-maskers to do the unthinkable: wear a mask and keep their distance," Vice News reports. The conspiracy theory claims, falsely, that vaccinated people "shed" certain proteins that can infect unvaccinated people and cause some sort of harm, usually tied to reproduction. ("It is biologically impossible for a vaccinated person to spread the vaccine to someone who hasn't been vaccinated," The Associated Press says.)

For those who do believe that vaccinated people can somehow infect them with vaccine proteins — one private school in Miami barred vaccinated teachers from interacting with unvaccinated students — some "anti-vax influencers" are suggesting they protect themselves by "social distancing, the very strategy the have long decried," Vice reports. Others "conspiracy theorists are wondering if perhaps their longtime bane, the mask, could become their salvation."

Several people who study the anti-vax and anti-mask movements said they are skeptical mask-wearing will take hold in those communities. Other observers found the conundrum delightful and perhaps a little too perfect to be true.

In any case, "while the conspiracy is baseless, the fear it is causing vaccine skeptics is very real," Vice says. "And where there is a fear, there's money to be made." You can read more at Vice News.