After months of anticipation, the first Covid-19 vaccines finally started being administered in the UK last month.
Amid the rollout, several rumours and myths have been circulating about the vaccine, including fears that the jab could affect fertility.
Now, Professor Lucy Chappell, NIHR Research Professor in Obstetrics at King’s College London, is attempting to reassure women that the Covid-19 jab will not affect their fertility.
Her 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.
Professor Chappell says it is understandable that there have been questions about the new vaccines but notes that fearful claims which can be easily found online have 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.
Prof 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.
Prof Chappell said there are ‘very clear checks and balances’ involving the women who take part in research trials.
Professor Chappell’s advice comes shortly after a poll revealed that young women are the most likely to turn down the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Find Out Now poll, which sampled 55,642 people, found that more than a quarter of 18-to- 34-year-old women said they would say no to the jab, citing their concerns over the vaccine’s effect on fertility and pregnancies.
By contrast, only seven per cent of those aged 65 and over said the same. – dailymail.co.uk