Well, it was almost inevitable that this would happen, given the gullibility of a certain segment of the American population: anti-vaxxers are now promoting the idea that that those who have finally agreed to vaccination due to mandates can “undo” their vaccines. As a reaction to the increasing percentage of the population that has received a vaccine and not suffered the litany of side-effects and horrible consequences that the anti-vaxxers warned about, the quacks and grifters have now started shifting their target to convincing people that every little problem they have is the result of vaccination and that only they have the solution (sometimes literally) that can solve the problem for them. It’s classic medical quackery and will, no doubt, find a willing and enduring audience on social media.
The Ur-quack in this case seems to have been a "Dr.” Carrie Madej, who put out a TikTok video claiming that a bath solution she invented would “detox the vaxx” for those who tried it. Ben Collins at NBC News lays out what this bath entails:
The ingredients in the bath are mostly not harmful, although the supposed benefits attached to them are entirely fictional. Baking soda and epsom salts, she falsely claims, will provide a “radiation detox” to remove radiation Madej falsely believes is activated by the vaccine. Bentonite clay will add a “major pull of poison,” she says, based on a mistaken idea in anti-vaccine communities that toxins can be removed from the body with certain therapies.
Then, she recommends adding in one cup of borax, a cleaning agent that’s been banned as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration, to “take nanotechnologies out of you.”
Of course, borax is a highly caustic substance that’s usually used in cleaning products and is much more likely to “toxify” you than the opposite. But, to be fair, this video was at least removed by TikTok over a month ago. Unfortunately, by the use of TikTok’s duets feature, the underlying message is still being circulated and the formula is still being passed around. Madej herself is a classic for these anti-vaxx nuts, since she claims that the vaccines contain a “liquefied computing system” and are a “gateway to transhumanism”. But there have still been hundreds of thousands of people who have seen this nonsense through TikTok and very likely some who have acted on it.
Nor is Madej the only entrant in the “undo the vaccine” Olympics. There are also people promoting things like cupping (with or without cutting the injection site beforehand) to somehow “draw out” the vaccine like it was an old-fashioned snakebite cure. Others are actually promoting the idea that you can “un-inject” the vaccine with syringes. Needless to say (for the actually sane and sensible crowd) neither of these is even remotely possible. When my wife was three years old, she once saw her mother put a spoonful of medicine in her orange juice and insisted that she take it back out, so her mother took out a spoon of juice and my wife happily drank the rest down. But she was three years old. Why a supposedly competent adult would fall for essentially the same ruse is beyond me, but apparently it’s become one of the new anti-vaxx concepts that’s spreading through the community.
Of course, this could all be much worse. As one of the experts Collins consulted for his article put it:
“Once you’re injected, the lifesaving vaccination process has already begun. You can’t unring a bell. It’s just not physically possible,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
So in the end, the whole movement may have evolved in a direction that’s less harmful to society as a whole, though doubtless still dangerous to those who sign on to this quackery. If the idea that they can “undo” the vaccine gets these hold-outs to obey the mandates and get vaccinated, I for one could care less if they strip a few layers of skin off themselves in a borax bath or cover themselves with cupping glasses and tiny razor cuts. At least that way they’re only hurting themselves (and not so badly that they’ll need to take up valuable hospital beds) and the rest of us can enjoy the benefits of having a sufficient number of people vaccinated to hopefully put an end to this pandemic once and for all.