A false video on YouTube claims COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in men

A false video on YouTube claims COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in men

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COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infertility; the rumour is unfounded and has no scientific evidence backing the claim.

By Tej Kumar

While the world is getting ready for vaccination, related pieces of misinformation have found a way ahead of vaccines. A YouTube video with more than 6,000 views and 3,45,000 subscribers claims that vaccines can make men infertile. The video goes on to explain, "If we give vaccines to humans frequently, it would reduce the resistance power in humans and cause many side effects, which will lead to infertility in men." This claim is misleading. We explain in detail the contents of the vaccine and how safe are they.

The video goes on to explain that vaccines can cause serious side-effects which may even lead to infertility in men.

Dr.Maulik Patel, a consultant Physician, Divine Life Hospitals in, Ahmedabad explained, “there are so many factors that may cause infertility in humans, and none of them related to the vaccines. In most cases, infertility in men is due to a drop in testosterone level, and it has no link with vaccines. There is no evidence till now that any vaccines affect testosterone levels. Though there are some anaphylactic reactions because of these Nanoparticles, which are concerning factors, these ImmunoGlobulin E (IgE)-mediated responses are most often due to vaccine constituents rather than microbial products”.

The logic behind the viral claim is the usage of nanoparticles in vaccines. Nanoparticles are the fatty molecular envelopes that help strands of mRNA — the genetic messenger for making DNA code into proteins — evade the body’s biological gatekeepers and reach their target cell without being degraded. 

However, only two approved mRNA vaccines in the world are currently using nanoparticles in their ingredients, i.e., Pfizer and Moderna. As per their fact sheets, these two vaccines use Polyethylene glycol (PEG) as lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that help carry it to human cells but also act as an adjuvant, a vaccine ingredient that bolsters the immune response.

“There are some studies that say that nanoparticles may cause infertility, but it is not related to Polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG is mostly used in our daily life, in our toothpaste, shampoos,” Dr. Maulik added.

Hence there is no link between infertility and vaccines; it is false that vaccines can cause infertility in men. According to the World Health Organisation “vaccines contain ingredients to keep it safe and effective and most of the ingredients used in vaccines are non-toxic in nature”. Ingredients used in vaccines are non-toxic in nature, and they are used under highly moderated Laboratory equipment. All vaccines are made after multiple trials and abide by immunization and safety rules. If the vaccine doesn’t follow these rules, it won’t be administered.