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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout forms an essential function in combatting the pandemic. However, now with millions lining up for the long-awaited medication, a few questions have come up; will the vaccine affect fertility?
This follows multiple social media posts alleging the Coronavirus vaccine can result in infertility, spreading fear among people planning a family.
With misinformation and fake news reaching far and wide, it is essential to separate fact from fiction.
Therefore, the Newcastillian – Online News approached Mediclinic Newcastle’s Dr Peter Chukwu and Dr Mahesh Dhanjee for clarity on the matter. As a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Chukwu explains, “There is no truth in this claim. Various tests and clinical trials were done on the respective vaccines, and it does not impact one’s fertility at all.” With the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being one of the more predominant vaccines in the country, Dr Chukwu asserts that before the rollout campaign commenced, J&J vaccine trials were conducted on thousands of people. “It was also approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), who looked into its efficiency and possible side effects.” During the various trials, he adds that follow-up tests were also done, reflecting no adverse effects.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have also issued a joint statement, alongside the Royal College of Midwives, tackling this worrisome claim.
In the statement, Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, explains: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.”
He further indicates there is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility. “Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.”
Discussing the impact on male fertility, Specialist Urologist Dr Mahesh Dhanjee emphasises there is currently no scientific evidence, either theoretical, animal studies, or human clinical trials, indicating that the vaccine might negatively impact a man’s fertility. “In fact, many patients around the world, who have received the vaccine as part of a clinical trial, or as part of their respective government’s vaccination programs, have successfully impregnated their partners. There have been no specific studies undertaken to study the effects of fertility after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is essentially a “non-issue”.”
Elaborating further, Dr Dhanjee explains the vaccine works by introducing a small, usually inactive portion of the virus (e.g. “spike” protein) into the body. This prompts the body to make antibodies and white blood cells to fight off any subsequent infections by the virus. He affirms, “The vaccine cannot “give you” the virus as it in no way affects the person’s own genetic (DNA) information. There is also robust data from other non-live virus vaccines, including the flu vaccine, that there is absolutely no impact on fertility.”
Looking at the latest misinformation surrounding the vaccine, Dr Dhanjee stresses, “The false rumours that the vaccine affects fertility produces unwanted stress and negatively impacts people’s mental health and self-esteem. This is indeed sad, as there is no scientific basis for the spread of such malicious rumours. Ironically, it is the very stress created by unfounded information which could adversely affect a person’s fertility.”
Moreover, when medical rumours need to be verified, “Dr Google” is not always the best path to follow, declares the doctor. “I suggest that should members of the public have any concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, they should address these with their general practitioner or with the appropriate specialist before making any decisions about the safety of the vaccine.”
Dr Chukwu agrees with Dr Dhanjee by saying, “If you have any concerns regarding your fertility, you should visit your doctor, who will be able to answer all your questions and address any concerns you might have.”
What are your thoughts on the matter and the destructive power of rumours?
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