Fertility and pregnancy outcomes unaffected by COVID-19 vaccines

May 27, 2022
Fertility and pregnancy outcomes unaffected by COVID-19 vaccines

Women vaccinated against the COVID-19 (COVID) virus either with mRNA vaccines or inactivated virus vaccines need not worry about reduced fertility or side effects throughout pregnancy, said researchers from the Yale School of Medicine.

In addressing a widely circulating theory that suggests COVID vaccines might reduce fertility, researchers and doctoral students in the lab of Professor of Immunobiology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Akiko Iwasaki, found that blood samples of vaccinated and unvaccinated women showed no differences in levels of an antibody called anti-syncytin-1. The theory posits that increased levels of anti-syncytin-1 can interfere with placental development and prevent pregnancy.

The team, however, found no evidence of such antibodies in people vaccinated with either mRNA COVID vaccines or with inactivated COVID virus vaccines.

The team also showed how pregnant mice experienced no side effects from the vaccines and neither did the animals’ foetuses exhibit physical defects or unusual limitations on growth, further cementing the vaccines’ safety. Conversely, the foetuses of vaccinated pregnant mice had high levels of circulating antibodies to the COVID virus, or SARS-CoV- 2, suggesting they would be protected against this infection after birth.

“The findings provide evidence that existing mRNA vaccines are safe for pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant,” said Professor Iwasaki. “Unvaccinated pregnant women are at increased risk for severe consequences of COVID-19 infections, including hospitalisation and intensive care stays than unvaccinated pregnant women, and face increased risk of delivering a preterm or stillborn infant.”

Category: Education

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