As vaccination against COVID-19 will become increasingly available, rumors surrounding the safety and side-effects of these vaccines are spreading—especially as it relates to fertility and pregnancy. We join with the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists to dispel these rumors and share their expert guidance for those with questions or concerns about vaccination.
Recently, a rumor was spread across social media and news sites emanating from unsubstantiated blog posts where purported former Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline insiders suggested certain elements in the recently approved Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 caused a woman’s body to attack a certain protein which is critical in the development of the placenta, rendering them infertile. These claims have been evaluated and roundly found to be misleading and false by the World Health Organization, the CDC, Reuters, the NYTimes, and many others. There is no evidence or connection in either the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine still being evaluated for FDA approval that any such connection—or anything threating reproductive health—exists.
Many have shared concerns over how quickly these vaccines have gone through development, testing, and approval for widespread use. While the speed of development has, indeed, been unprecedented, so too has the need. Pharmaceutical companies around the world were driven by an urgent global need for a solution, and the speed at which these vaccines have been developed is a testament to both the need and their commendable drive. These vaccines have been widely tested and rigorously evaluated by both the FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and have been deemed safe for use once available.
As with most vaccinations, there are certainly side-effects to be expected. While the Pfizer COVID vaccine is no different, the notion that more people will die from a vaccination than from the disease is alarmingly false. Those who have received the vaccine report common side effects lasting a few days after the second dose and typically including soreness at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and mild fever. As this is a concern of many, the CDC has even created the V-Safe program to promote widespread communication sharing about side-effects after vaccination.
The decision of who should receive the vaccination first is important to making sure we help those most in need first. Once more widely available, it is important to seek trustworthy information and educate yourself so that you can make your own informed, personal vaccination decisions confidently, and based on facts.
The CDC has made it clear that the U.S. Vaccine safety system works, and that the many monitors and federal participants will continue to rely on trustworthy science, evidence-based clinical trials, and advanced and developing monitoring systems to make sure that any vaccine made available is safe. Further, the global response to this need and sheer volume of data from various clinical trials around the world means that we are gaining a better understanding of ways to minimize or more clearly define any expected side-effects every day. Though this is all excellent news, it remains critical to stay informed and connected to trustworthy sources of information throughout the pandemic. Axia Women’s Health is dedicated to remaining that source for our patients, and your providers welcome any concerns or questions you may have about your unique situation.
As exciting and relieving it is to have the discourse shifting in a positive direction as we talk about vaccination and returning to “normal” life, we join with the CDC and other experts to remind you that we all need to continue to practice COVID-19 safety protocols until such time as our vaccination response and community spread is under control. Our offices and providers will continue to adhere to these protocols to ensure you always have safe access to care, and we ask that you refresh yourself on these measures prior to your next appointment.
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