PORTLAND, Ore — After the authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines, healthcare workers across the U.S. are now getting protected against the virus.
With more vaccines being distributed, more misinformation is spreading online. There are myths that have some women worried about the vaccine’s effect on pregnancy and fertility. Health professionals have said they are not true.
After several viewer emails, KGW set out to VERIFY: is there a link between infertility or miscarriage and the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there’s no evidence that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines could have impacts on pregnancy, but there’s limited data.
Initial clinical trials didn’t include pregnant women. However, 23 women became pregnant during the Pfizer-BioNTech trial. Some were given the vaccine, others were given a placebo. Those participants are being followed to see how the vaccine may have affected their pregnancies.
New trials involving pregnant women are expected to get underway later this month.
Right now, health officials say the risks of the virus may be greater than the risks of the vaccine, especially for pregnant women. According to the CDC, data has shown that pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness compared to women who are not pregnant.
The CDC recommends pregnant women consult their healthcare providers before getting vaccinated if they have concerns.
The Food and Drug Administration, which gave emergency approval to both Pfizer and Moderna, says there’s no reason to believe the vaccine causes infertility, either.
“Infertility is not known to occur as a result of natural COVID-19 disease, further demonstrating that immune responses to the virus, whether induced by infection or a vaccine are not a cause of infertility,” according to the agency.
There have been some rumors that the spike protein the body creates after vaccination to fight off COVID-19 is similar to a protein in the placenta of pregnant mothers. But doctors say the two are not similar enough for the spike protein to launch an immune response to the placenta that would endanger the mother’s ability to carry a baby to term.
As for infertility in men, experts are more concerned about the impacts of the virus itself rather than the vaccine. Researchers at the University of Miami found that the virus -- not the vaccine -- can affect sperm quality, which could potentially contribute to infertility concerns in certain people.
Again, KGW can VERIFY: there is no link between infertility or miscarriage and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Do you have something you want us to VERIFY? Let us know. Email us at VERIFY@kgw.com.