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Myths and reality: vaccines and pregnancy

There are a number of myths in society about corona vaccines. Maia Uusküla, the Head of the Bureau of Pharmacovigilance in the Estonian Agency of Medicines, comments on myths about vaccinations during pregnancy.

  • Myth: Women who'd like to have a baby, are expecting or breastfeeding, shouldn't vaccinate themselves.

    The protection of the vaccine weighs all the risks that are related with the vaccination even for the women who'd like to get pregnant, are expecting or breastfeeding.

    If an expecting woman catches coronavirus and falls ill, the risk for the premature birth increases, also the likelihood that this woman needs an intensive care. Vaccination decreases those risks remarkably. If a breastfeeding mother gets vaccinated, the baby also gets some protection against COVID-19. There's no biological reason why covid-vaccines could be dangerous for pregnant women, fetus, or kids on breastfeeding.

    Animal testing has also confirmed that. Numerous doses injected to rats didn't bring any direct or indirect harm to the development of the fetus, gestation, giving birth, or the after-birth period.

    International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), where Estonian Gynaecologists` Society is a member, supports vaccination against COVID-19 for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as long as the risks of being infected, the duration of the pregnancy, the health conditions of the mother, etc are considered.
  • Myth: Vaccination can cause infertility.

    COVID-19 vaccines don't cause infertility or the decrease of fertility.

    The mRNA from the vaccines does not enter the cell nucleus or interact with the DNA at all, so it doesn't affect fertility or future kids in any ways. To clarify the risk of infertility, there's been animal testing, and in these, fertility wasn't affected in any ways.

    However, falling ill with COVID-19 may decrease the fertility in males, because COVID-19 side effects include orchitis and the decreased quality of sperm.

  • Myth: People who are vaccinated, radiate and are able to affect the fertility or periods of others.

    There's no evidence to that people radiate after getting vaccinated or could be able to affect fertility of others. Estonian Agency of Medicine has reports of temporary menstruation cycle disruptions. It's very likely that these disruptions are caused by a temporary stress, temperature or similar reactions in the body after the vaccination.

  • Myth: A lot of miscarriages in Estonia are caused by AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Estonian Agency of Medicine hasn't received a single report that AstraZeneca or any other COVID-19 vaccine has caused a miscarriage. By the world data available, the occurrence of miscarriages for vaccinated and non-vaccinated women is similar.

Look for more:
* Questions and answers
* Estonian Gynaecologists` Society
* Family Physicians Association of Estonia

Ask for advice on the phone from the family doctor's helpline 1220 or state helpline 1247.

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