Health Leaders Dispel Rumors About COVID-19 Vaccine And Infertility

Doctors continue to encourage pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they want to dispel rumors about how it impacts fertility; KDKA's Dr. Maria Simbra reports.

Video Transcript

- Doctors continue to encourage women who are pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they want to dispel rumors about how the vaccine affects a woman's fertility, especially since there's so much misinformation around online. Dr. Maria Simbra takes a look at the risks.

MARIA SIMBRA: Alicia Foster had already received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, when she got a surprise.

ALICIA FOSTER: I never pictured that I was going to be pregnant during a pandemic. It was not planned.

MARIA SIMBRA: She thought about whether to go ahead with the second dose.

ALICIA FOSTER: Yeah, there's definitely a degree of paranoia that comes with pregnancy. I've never cared more about what I'm putting into my body.

MARIA SIMBRA: But she did, because she decided it was the right thing to do.

ALICIA FOSTER: It's sort of like a cost benefit analysis kind of thing.

MARIA SIMBRA: Dr. Grace Ferguson would agree, the risks of COVID to pregnant women are greater.

GRACE FERGUSON: They always ask really earnestly, should I be getting the COVID vaccine while I'm pregnant or breastfeeding, and my answer is always yes.

MARIA SIMBRA: Dr. Ferguson says the rumors about infertility come from part of the vaccine's mRNA sequence being similar to a sequence in the placenta.

GRACE FERGUSON: The fear I think is that the COVID vaccine somehow tells your body to attack placentas, and that is really unfounded. Just because my phone number has a 7 and your phone number has a 7, doesn't mean that we're going to get the same number, right. There's still so many other parts that are different.

MARIA SIMBRA: Women's health care providers across the state discussed issues like this with Pennsylvania First Lady, Frances Wolfe, and the acting physician general, by pointing to the data collected from thousands of vaccinated women.

- It's really based on how it works should not affect the integrity of reproductive cells. It shouldn't change the genetics of the cells. A lot of the risks that people are concerned about are absolutely not increased. Things like miscarriage.

MARIA SIMBRA: Nevertheless, not everyone agreed with Alicia's decision.

ALICIA FOSTER: There was definitely lots of people just being like, I can't believe you let them give you a vaccine when you were pregnant. The panic sort of mindset came from other people more than it did for me.

MARIA SIMBRA: She's carrying twins, and is definitely glad she got vaccinated. I'm Dr. Maria Simbra, KDKA News.