Covid-19: no, vaccines do not make you sterile

False information is circulating on social networks, where we can read that 97% of those vaccinated become sterile because the vaccine prevents the production of the placenta. For health professionals, this theory is not based on “any scientific basis”.  

Vaccination against Covid-19 would render sterile. This false information is spread in particular on social networks like Facebook, where we can read that 97% of vaccinated become sterile, that even sexual intercourse with an immune man is enough to harm a woman’s fertility, and that all of this could “Sterilize an entire generation”.  

As the rate of injections slows in the United States, these false claims are dissuading some Americans from receiving their injection, and complicating the task of the Biden administration, which has set itself the goal of achieving collective immunity.  

Nearly two-thirds of people who say they are sure they will not get vaccinated worry about the consequences on their fertility, according to a US study published in early May. And about half of people who have not yet received a dose say they fear that “the vaccine against the Covid-19 could have a negative effect on their fertility in the future”, affirms to AFP Ashley Kirzinger, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, an NGO aimed at educating the public on health issues. 

WOMEN, THE FIRST TARGET OF THIS FAKE NEWS  

Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 50% of women and 47% of men express such concerns. The exclusion of pregnant women from early clinical trials helped create these fears, and the new round of disinformation from anti-vaccine groups coincides with the US campaign’s slowdown. 

“They are content largely to recycle the elements which, for the existing vaccines, were already a source of fear and apply them to these new vaccines, even if this does not rest on any scientific basis”, underlines Devon Greyson, professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

These messages are targeted at women, because “fertility is such a strong reaction, which is so intimate,” adds Devon Greyson. “So if you’re looking for a scarecrow to scare people off, saying ‘this will make you sterile’ works great. ” 

“Concerns about fertility and vaccines touch the hearts of what, for many women, represents femininity,” agrees Katharine O’Connell White, professor of gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine. 

NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF  

This fake news claims that the vaccine causes the immune system to attack syncytin-1, a protein involved in the development of the placenta. This would lead to infertility in vaccinated women who would therefore be unable to produce a placenta. A totally false theory for health professionals.  

“There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine can cause infertility,” three medical institutions, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Maternal recalled in a joint statement. -Fetal Medicine.  

The fact that women’s health concerns have sometimes been ignored by healthcare professionals plays a role in this problem. “Historically, the needs of women have often been overlooked in scientific research. Often times, it’s because the person conducting the study is not a woman, ”says Katharine O’Connell White. 

Misinformation about vaccines is a barrier to the American medical profession. “It is difficult to get rid of false information,” adds the professor of gynecology. “They take a lot easier than the simple, boring truth. ” 

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