Debunking myths about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy

Where did the misinformation come from?
Woman holding pregnant belly
Photo credit PA Images/Sipa USA

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Some women are not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 because they either are pregnant or are trying to be. But Dr. Aasta Mehta, medical officer of women’s health for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and an OB-GYN at Penn Medicine, says the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, whether you’re pregnant now or want to be in the future.

In fact, all vaccines are. In this episode of In Depth, we sat down with Dr. Mehta, to debunk the many myths that have formed around COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy issues. Listen here, or in the player just below.

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Debunking myths around COVID vaccines and pregnancy
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“All the vaccines that have ever been created, none of them have been linked to infertility,” she said.

So, how did this misinformation and vaccine fear around pregnancy start?

It has to do with spike proteins, which mRNA vaccines target to help you build up antibodies. The COVID-19 virus has a spike protein, while a different spike protein helps implant an embryo into the uterus.

Some people assumed that the COVID-19 vaccine would target both spike proteins, but that’s not the case.

“That’s not at all how vaccines work,” Mehta explained. “There’s no way that spike protein would be mistaken for this other spike protein because it’s a completely different thing.”

Mehta and many other medical professionals encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their children and others.

“The main thing that we can do to help [the pandemic] end more quickly and to keep our kids safe is to get vaccinated.”