The COVID-19 Vaccine Myth About Kids' Fertility Explained

On October 29, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. On November 2, "a similar committee advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is meeting to have its say," reported The New York Times. Along with this new authorization for children under 12 comes some concern from parents. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has implemented continued research in a project that monitors the concerns, opinions, and experiences of the public in regard to COVID-19 vaccinations, with a focus on "information needs" and "trusted messengers and messages." Survey results released by the KFF in late October showed that three out of ten parents do not plan on vaccinating their 5- to 11-year-olds against COVID-19. Moreover, 66% of the parents of 5- to 11-year-olds that were surveyed expressed concerns over their children's future fertility, while others worry about potential serious side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines as well as the possibility of unknown long-term effects (per KFF).

Health experts agree there is no need for concern over the COVID-19 vaccine causing fertility problems

This particular concern appears to have stemmed from anecdotal reports of women experiencing heavy periods soon after getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This "kernel of truth" was misconstrued and set the foundation for misinformation about the vaccine and fertility, NPR reported.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asserts, "There is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility." The AAP continued, explaining that although fertility has not been directly studied in the COVID-19 clinical trials, "no loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization." There is also no evidence to support that the vaccine impacts puberty.

Along with the AAP, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, "Leading medical organizations have repeatedly affirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines have no impact on fertility." According to CNN, doctors have continued to reiterate that there is no "scientific reason" to believe a vaccine might negatively impact the puberty or the future fertility of a child. Head of the FDA's vaccine division, Dr. Peter Marks, reassured the public in a news conference last Friday, saying, "There's no evidence that there is an adverse effect on fertility of these vaccines, and there's no reason why one would suspect that an mRNA vaccine would have this" (via CNN).