There are “no scientific evidences” suggesting that COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility, the centre said today following false claims and reports on vaccine side-effects.
The centre clarified that none of the available vaccines in India affects fertility as “all vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects.”
“The vaccines have been found to be safe and effective,” it said.
India is using two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — at present.
Vaccines are authorised for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
It said there have been media reports expressing concerns regarding infertility due to Covid vaccination. “Such misinformation and rumours were observed to be spreading in the community during the vaccination drives earlier too, like polio and measles-rubella,” the ministry added.
Meanwhile, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has said that all lactating women can be vaccinated, terming it as safe with “no need to stop or pause breastfeeding before or after the vaccination.”
With vaccine uptake already slow in the country, the false claims are a threat to the government’s goal of inoculating all adults by the end of this year.
The country’s vaccination drive has significantly slowed in recent months due to a shortage of jabs and hesitancy, even as it battled a vicious surge in cases in April and May that overwhelmed the healthcare system in many places.
To boost its vaccination drive, the government today implemented the revised guidelines under the “Free Vaccination For All Campaign” where vaccine doses provided free-of-cost by the centre will be allocated to states based on criteria such as population, disease burden and the progress of vaccination, and all above the age of 18 will be eligible for the free jabs. The centre will now procure 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the manufacturers in the country.
India started its vaccination drive to tackle coronavirus on January 16 this year and more than 28 crore doses have been administered till now.
The country vaccinated more than 75 lakh people today, in a record single-day coverage.
False claims that Covid vaccines can cause infertility have also surfaced in other countries like the US which are discouraging Americans from receiving the shots and leaving health professionals to persuade patients that scare stories they have read online are unfounded.