There are a lot of benefits to social media. It allows us to form new connections and to stay connected to those we love in lots of different ways, something which has been particularly important this last year.
Social media can also bring with it a lot of problems, including the sharing far and wide of inaccurate and unsubstantiated misinformation, across multiple different social media platforms.
This especially happens when something new comes along, something like the Covid-19 vaccines. A lot of people are sharing accurate, factual, evidence-based information about these vaccines, allowing people to make their own choice based on good information.
But sadly, many people are sharing information that has no evidence to back it up and in doing so, may deter others from getting the vaccine. One such piece of information that has been shared – it first surfaced on Twitter – is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines can negatively affect fertility in women and in men.
This is not the case.
“There is no evidence what-so-ever to show that having a Covid-19 vaccine affects fertility in women or men”, explains Mr Rehan Khan a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Barts Health. “I understand that people have seen information that suggests they might, but this is not the case. That information isn’t evidence based and no heed should be paid to it.”
The Royal College of Midwives and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists agree with him. They have issued a joint statement saying: “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. 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.”
It’s important to note that saying these vaccines do not affect fertility is not the same thing as saying people who are pregnant should have them. Fertility and being pregnant are two different things.
If you are pregnant, please speak to your doctor about whether it is right and safe for you to have the vaccine. Every pregnancy is different and so you should do what’s right for you.
Hear from a virologist
Hear from a gynaecologist and obstetrician
Hear from a midwife
- The Royal College of Midwives and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists statement on Covid-19 vaccines and fertility