A myth has been spreading all over social media that COVID19 vaccines might negatively affect people’s ability to reproduce. However, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who is a certified obstetrician, has said that COVID19 vaccines do not have any adverse impact on fertility as more and more people in the US are able to be vaccinated. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has revealed that most women in the US are concerned about the safety and possible side effects of COVID19 vaccines as compared to men. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is a non-profitable firm, which focuses on health issues. Nearly 13 percent of people who have participated in a survey done by the KFF have said that they are uncertain whether the COVID19 vaccines will cause infertility. Dr. Jennifer Ashton has said that if COVID19 vaccines had caused infertility, they would have witnessed many miscarriages in women who have been infected with COVID19 infection in the past. She has said that there is no basis for any such myth at this time. Pfizer and BioNtech are the first ones to test their COVID19 vaccine in pregnant women as they have recently launched a new clinical trial on pregnant women last week.
Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines have been developed using mRNA technology. Experts have said that mRNA technology does not go into the nucleus of the cells and is not able to change human DNA. They have said that mRNA technology sends genetic instruction manual, which triggers the cells to produce proteins for the body. With the help of this protein, the body learns to create defenses against future infection. Scientists have said that these are the first mRNA vaccines, which are fully safe for pregnant women, as they do not contain a live virus. However, Moderna has not announced a timeline for enrolling pregnant women in their clinical trials. On the other hand, there is no concrete data available to determine the efficacy and safety of these vaccines during pregnancy as pregnant women have not been a part of the late-stage trials of these vaccines actively. However, around 20000 women have become pregnant at the same time when they have been inoculated. Dr. Jennifer Ashton has informed that there have been no side effects due to the COVID19 vaccine in this group of women. Ashton has said that many past studies have shown that pregnant women are likely to pass on antibodies to their fetuses. This has been seen in women who have been infected with COVID19 in the past. Dr. Jennifer Ashton has said hopes that the same will be seen in women who have been vaccinated.
Experts have said that a number of factors need to be taken into consideration before deciding whether pregnant women should receive a COVID19 vaccine. These factors include risk factors for contracting the virus, the ability to follow social distancing as per their lifestyle and occupation, a recommendation from women’s own physician, and guidance from federal and state authorities. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these vaccines looking at two months of data, however, now they have four months of data. Experts have been following the women who have become pregnant after participating in the clinical trials. They are going to do the follow-up on these women for another two years. The World Health Organization (WHO) as well has issued new guidelines saying that pregnant women are at a higher risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus and those who are at a higher risk of severe COVID19 should be given the vaccine. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that expecting mothers and women, who are breastfeeding should consider taking the vaccine. The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine as well as advised that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should have access to vaccines. Health experts have said that doctors should tell their patients that there is a very low theoretical risk of fetal harm due to mRNA vaccines.