The vaccine against COVID-19 DOES NOT cause sterility

Fact checking

Emir Dresevic, UNICEF young reporter
fact checking blog visual
UNICEF Montenegro
14 April 2021

In addition to allegations that the vaccine against COVID-19 can have a detrimental effect on pregnant women, information has appeared in the media and on social networks that it can also cause infertility in men. The Public Health Institute of Montenegro previously said that the coronavirus itself can cause sterility and that new findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect spermatogenesis in the short term in patients with moderate COVID-19-related symptoms.

“When observing only patients with a fever as the main symptom of infection, only the total number of motile sperm was statistically significantly lower in patients who suffered from coronavirus,” the Public Health Institute (IJZCG) points out.

However, when it comes to the impact of vaccines on sterility, in mid-December 2020, a study by the University of Miami (Miller School of Medicine) on the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on male fertility was published, which showed: 

“Based on the mechanism by which mRNA works, we do not expect that COVID-19 vaccines will affect male fertility. But obviously we want the data to confirm that hypothesis.”

For the publication “Science in Serbia”, Dr. Milos Babic, a molecular biologist and neurobiologist, answered some of the frequent questions related to coronavirus and the vaccine, among which was: “Do vaccines cause sterility?” to which he replied:

“Vaccines do not cause sterility. This inaccurate rumour was started by two German pseudo-scientists and spread further on the internet. According to verified data, infection with the virus can harm male fertility, and that is another reason why vaccination is needed to protect against such effects from coronavirus. "

UNICEF's young reporters also asked experts from the Public Health Institute of Montenegro (IJZCG) about this.

Verified information regarding the virus is that it can lead to impaired fertility in men. That is one of the reasons why vaccination is recommended - in order to reduce such effects of the virus. On the other hand, in the clinical research of the companies Pfizer and Moderna, 30 women who remained pregnant participated, which again indicates that there is no direct effect of vaccines on fertility.

Dr. Marija Božović from the Public Health Institute of Montenegro

The same message was given by doctors from the Clinical Centre of Montenegro (KCCG). “Vaccines against COVID-19 cannot have any long-term consequences. These vaccines have all passed clinical studies that have proven that this vaccine is not harmful to the human body. For now, there is no study or any research that confirms that these vaccines can have such an effect on our health,” said Dr. Djordje Krnjevic of KCCG.

Given that a large amount of misinformation is circulating in the media and on social networks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and during vaccination against this disease, it is extremely important to get information from credible sources. UNICEF’s young reporters invite all their readers to check all the information on the websites of the World Health Organization, the Public Health Institute, the Clinical Centre of Montenegro, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF.

We know that vaccines have enabled mankind to progress by eradicating infectious diseases, which is why we recommend that you do not believe everything you read on the internet and choose carefully what information to share, and to check its accuracy beforehand. If you do not know or are not sure if certain information is correct, ask your doctor. Let’s choose whom we trust.

In an effort to contribute to preventing the dissemination of coronavirus misinformation and to promoting credible sources of information, UNICEF’s young reporters have decided to check the accuracy of information published on social media and in the media that has attracted public attention. In verifying the accuracy of information, they have followed the example of the Public Disclosure Platform “Raskrinkavanje“ and partly used its publicly available methodology.