Dr Bushra Ali: Don’t give in to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
This is an Advertorial Feature for Hull NHS CCG.
Dr Bushra Ali is a local GP in Hull and she is also a member of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group board:
There is a lot of misinformation appearing online about COVID-19 vaccines and their impact on fertility. As a GP, I want to reassure everyone that vaccines are safe, effective and thoroughly tested. Scientists have confirmed that any claims you may have seen on social media that coronavirus vaccination could affect female fertility are entirely unfounded.
Both the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives are assuring women that there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility. There is no plausible mechanism by which the vaccine could affect your fertility.
The coronavirus vaccines work by prompting your immune system to kick into action, produce antibodies and white blood cells to fight off the virus, and recognise it if you encounter it again. They do not contain organisms that can multiply in the body.
COVID vaccines can’t give you the virus, and they have no way of affecting your own genetic information.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women can have the vaccine but should discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. This is not because coronavirus vaccines aren’t safe but simply because these vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnancy. So pregnant women who are at very high risk of catching the infection, or those with clinical conditions that put them at high risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19, can be vaccinated. There is also no need to avoid pregnancy after having the vaccine.
If you’re worried about receiving the vaccine because you’re breastfeeding, the JCVI has recommended that it can be received whilst breastfeeding. COVID-19 vaccines are not a risk to the breastfeeding mum and baby. This is in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation. You can read more about advice for people of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding on the gov.uk website.
When it’s your turn to get vaccinated, and you receive an invitation from the NHS to come forward, please don’t delay making an appointment. If you are unsure about anything, you can discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional. In the meantime, please look for reputable sources of information, such as the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine, to help you learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.