A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professor in Obstetrics at King’s College, London, Lucy Chappell, has reassured women that the Covid-19 vaccines do not have the potential to affect their fertility.
Chappell’s advice comes shortly after a poll of 55,642 Brits found that more than a quarter of 18-to-34-year-old women said they would say no to the jab, citing concerns over the vaccine’s effect on fertility and pregnancies.
The poll followed rumours and myths about the vaccine, including fears that it could affect infertility.
By contrast, only seven per cent of those aged 65 and over said the same.
However, Chappell, according to a report by Daily Mail, said while it was understandable, the questions about the new vaccines, fearful claims about it, most of which were on the internet had never been substantiated.
“I dug into all those sources and I can see absolutely no basis for concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are licensed in the UK and fertility,” she told the PA news agency.
She described the claims as ‘spurious’ because they relate to similarities between some aspects of the proteins involved in fertility and the Covid-19 vaccines, but these are “very speculative and entirely not supported by any of the data.”
There is no concern from a biological point of view and evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems, she said.
Pregnancy, the new virus and vaccines are “a constantly evolving area” which needs further research, as there is very limited experience in trials on pregnant women, according to Prof Chappell.
She hopes that vaccine companies may change this situation in the future.
Women who are in the highest risk Covid-19 groups, such as carers and health workers or the clinically extremely vulnerable such as those with underlying health conditions, should try to have ‘a sensible discussion’ about their concerns about the jab.
They are among the first phase of people to be vaccinated and their obstetrician or midwife is the obvious person to try and seek useful information from.
Chappell suggested that “we may be in a different place in six months in terms of how we can have those discussions’ as new and updated information comes through from the real-life current use of vaccines.
“Bigger trials are needed involving pregnant women to help answer questions about safety and risk but how the woman views her risk of exposure and complications is an important factor that needs to be taken into the mix.”
She said there are ‘very clear checks and balances’ involving the women who take part in research trials.
Why pregnant women can’t take Covid-19 vaccine
The UK Government has issued guidelines making it clear mothers-to-be should not be inoculated until after they’ve given birth.
Women who think they might be pregnant are urged to delay vaccination until they are certain they are not, and those trying for a baby should not be immunised either.
However, the measure is purely precautionary and it is not uncommon to exclude some groups from taking brand new vaccines.
Pfizer’s vaccine sailed through approval from Britain’s medical watchdog with a good safety rating and no evidence to suggest pregnant women are at risk.
But scientists behind the jab haven’t tested it on pregnant or breastfeeding women – often the case in scientific trials for ethical reasons – so there is no concrete evidence showing it would be safe and effective.
Culled from Daily Mail