Dispelling reports and rumours surrounding infertility caused due to COVID-19 vaccines, the government has clarified that getting the jab does not cause any such side effects.
It also said that the vaccines are safe for all lactating women.
According to the government, none of the vaccines currently available in India causes fertility-related issues in men or women, since all vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects.
"Furthermore, in order to curb the prevalent myth regarding infertility due to COVID-19 vaccination, the government of India has clarified that there are no scientific evidences suggesting COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility in men and women," the government said in a statement. It added that all vaccines are found to be safe and effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
As for lactating women, the government has said that National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has alsorecommended the COVID-19 vaccination for all lactating women.
NEGVAC has termed them as safe, with no need to stop or pause breastfeeding before or after the vaccine, it said.