The coronavirus vaccine has arrived and I am REJOICING! It finally feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we can begin to navigate the next phase of this pandemic. Since the vaccine is newly released, it will of course take some time until the general public has access to it. The newness also raises a lot of questions about side effects and long term effects as well. I’ve seen a lot of people questioning how, if at all, the COVID vaccine affects fertility in women. In short, despite the rumors, there is no effect on fertility due to the vaccine.
The Vaccine and Pregnancy
No pregnant women were administered the vaccine during clinical trials, but that is not specific to the COVID vaccine. Pregnant women aren’t typically included in clinical trials for any vaccine. There are plans to have trials specifically for pregnant women, but in all of the trials thus far, people who were vaccinated were also able to conceive a baby after receiving the vaccination.
Possible Vaccine Side Effects
As with any vaccination, there are possible side effects. Some people might feel sick for a day or so after their vaccination and might have symptoms such as headache, nausea, or a slight fever. The only possible risk around pregnancy would be if a pregnant person got a fever as a result of the vaccine, but that only happens in 10-15% of people who are vaccinated anyway, and it is likely the fever would be so mild it wouldn’t affect the pregnancy. Any claims that the vaccine would negatively affect people who are breastfeeding is also inaccurate, and there is absolutely no evidence that it impacts someone’s ability to get pregnant.
Myths around the Vaccine and Fertility
Apparently, the myth around the vaccine and fertility began because a German doctor named Wolfgang Wodarg speculated that perhaps the vaccine might lead to infertility. He noted that there is a protein in the vaccine similar to a protein found in the human placenta. He wondered if the body would attack the placenta incorrectly, leading to fertility issues. This was proven to be false because the amounts of similarities in these proteins is incredibly minute.
At this point, enough people from the clinical trials have gone on to become pregnant with no complications, further proving that it has no impact on fertility.
For more detailed explanations, check out this article by the University of Chicago school of medicine about how the vaccine does not affect pregnancy, fertility, or breastfeeding. Also, check out this article from WebMD about the details behind the misinformation.
When can you get the vaccine?
It’s incredibly exciting that the vaccine is becoming available. In the state of Indiana, people 70 years old and older are now eligible to be vaccinated. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, I hope you get vaccinated. It’s important to ask questions and do research to debunk myths around the vaccine so you can feel safe receiving it. It truly is incredible that the vaccine was developed within the same year the pandemic began. A little glimmer of hope for the new year. Stay safe, wear a mask and get vaccinated when you can! And then make a baby if you want since it won’t affect your fertility.