Medical expert seeks to debunk myths that Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility

Covid-19 vaccines do not affect fertility, according to a medical expert who is urging women not to be duped by "rumours and myths" about the jabs.

Professor Lucy Chappell, a consultant obstetrician specialising in women with medical problems in pregnancy, 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.

She told PA news agency: "I dug into all those sources and I can see absolutely no basis for concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are licenced in the UK and fertility."

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 neither a 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.