No evidence linking COVID-19 vaccinations for children and fertility issues later in life: experts – .

No evidence linking COVID-19 vaccinations for children and fertility issues later in life: experts – .

TORONTO – You may have heard the warning from a friend or relative, “Don’t give your daughter the COVID-19 vaccine if you want grandchildren. ”

Concerns about whether these vaccines will cause long-term fertility problems have resurfaced as more children aged 12 and over are vaccinated in Canada and elsewhere, but experts say studies as well that proven scientific research on vaccines shows these claims to be baseless. .

In Canada, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved in May for 12 to 15 year olds and Health Canada is currently reviewing Moderna’s application for 12 to 17 year olds. Already, nearly three million American children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been vaccinated and clinically Studies show vaccines are safe and effective for this age group, says, an information portal for parents , caregivers, youth and health care providers created by the Children’s Advisory Table on COVID-19 Vaccines.

The Ontario-based group is made up of more than two dozen experts in infectious diseases, pediatrics and public health, among others, representing more than half a dozen prominent children’s health organizations, including SickKids, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and McMaster Children’s Hospital. . The Canadian Pediatric Society also advocates vaccination against COVID-19 for all children and adolescents aged 12 and over.


The myth around infertility began when someone thought the spike protein created by the mRNA vaccine was similar to a protein found on the placenta called syncytin-1, said molecular and cell biologist Dr Krishana Sankar. of COVID-19 Resources Canada.

The concerns were raised by a German doctor and quickly spread on social media.

“Basically they were trying to say that because there were similarities… with syncytin-1, we would make antibodies against syncytin-1, which means it would affect our fertility,” said Sankar, who is also the science liaison for an anti-disinformation campaign, ScienceUpFirst.

“This is actually not true. For this to be true, syncytin-1 would have to be extremely, extremely similar to the spike proteins we create for antibodies – and it isn’t. The degree of similarity is very tiny. So the antibodies we generate in our body against the spike protein would not actually affect the placental protein called syncytin-1. “

Johns Hopkins Medicine also describes the two spike proteins as “completely different”.

“It’s like saying that you and I both have the same social security number because they both contain the number five.” So it was a mistake initially, ”said Dr. Paul Offit of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in a YouTube video debunking this claim.

The mRNA vaccines also cannot alter your DNA and affect fertility in this way either. Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology, Dr Peter Hotez of the National School of Tropical Medicine, told ABC News: “There is no plausible mechanism by which this could happen.

Misleading claims and opposition to the vaccine, especially for young adults and children, by controversial political advocacy groups, including the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and America’s Frontline Doctors, have also helped fuel misinformation about vaccine safety.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all say there is no evidence that vaccines will affect fertility. .

In studies conducted on animals prior to its authorized use, mRNA vaccines have been shown to have no effect on fertility or cause pregnancy problems.

Johns Hopkins also noted that during testing of the Pfizer vaccine, 23 volunteers involved in the trials became pregnant and the only one who miscarried actually received the placebo, not the mRNA vaccine.

Sankar said clinical trial participants were ordered not to get pregnant, but some inadvertently did so and carried their babies to term.

“We have data from real world evidence that suggests the vaccine would not affect pregnancy or fertility,” she said.

In her YouTube video, Offit also highlighted two clinical trials conducted on mRNA vaccines where a similar number of women became pregnant in the vaccine group and the placebo group.

“Now, if it was true that this vaccine or these vaccines affected fertility, then there should have been more pregnancies in the placebo group than in the vaccine group, but that was not true… the vaccine did not. did not improve fertility and it did not negatively affect fertility, ”said Offit.


Some of the renewed concerns about children involve concerns about the lasting effects of COVID-19 vaccines on fertility.

“The vaccine itself is not going to do anything. It very temporarily enters a body just to trigger or trigger an immune response, and our body is the one that then takes over and does all the work, ”Sankar said.

She explains that the components of a vaccine do not stay long. MRNA, for example, degrades extremely quickly. These vaccines “teach” our cells to make advanced proteins that will trigger an immune response. Once the proteins are created, the “instructions” in the mRNA break down and are discarded. Sankar says they are usually gone within 48 to 72 hours. Nothing accumulates in any organ.

“The vaccine and even the memory cells and the antibodies don’t stick around indefinitely at all,” she added, explaining that this is why many vaccines require booster shots.


To be clear, all of the normal regulatory requirements and steps to develop a vaccine have taken place, including clinical trials and the number of participants normally required, SickKids says on its website. One of the main reasons the researchers were able to finish everything so quickly was due to the large number of COVID-19 cases in trials, how quickly they were able to get volunteers, and the sheer amount of resources. financial, human and technical resources that were quickly made available due to the urgency of the pandemic. These are all things that would normally take a lot longer to come together in a pre-pandemic environment.

Even with this urgency, Sankar also pointed to a wealth of historical data and decades of scientific research and expertise around vaccines in general that have also served as a useful model for what scientists may or may not expect.

“It’s important for people to realize that science and research have been around for many, many years. You are only now in a pandemic, so everything is new. but just because we’re studying something new now doesn’t mean we don’t have the tools and the research from years of experience, ”she said.

“For many vaccines that have been given to children, there has been no evidence to suggest that there was any effect on the fertility of girls or young people who would eventually want to become pregnant. ”


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