Experts combat misinformation about COVID vaccine and childbearing that puts women and babies at risk

When verified information is sought, the evidence strongly favors vaccination

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – When it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, people understandably want to do their research before making a decision, especially those who are pregnant or planning to have a baby. However, it can be extremely difficult to separate fact from fiction, or even scientifically-proven guidance from information that is intentionally deceptive. Myths and misinformation linking the vaccine to infertility or pregnancy issues prevent many women from getting vaccinated, putting themselves and their babies at risk.

“There is 100% no evidence to support that vaccines cause infertility or any problems during pregnancy. These are cruel rumors that prey upon the fear that a lot of women have of not being able to have children,” said Dr. Nora Colburn, an infectious disease physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “In fact, the research shows that pregnant women who become infected with COVID-19 are at much higher risk of being admitted to the ICU, needing a ventilator and dying. And any complications for mom can also be extremely dangerous for her baby.”

To help sift through the mountain of content and find the facts, The Ohio State College of Nursing’s Fuld National Institute for Evidence-based Practice launched its “Community Core,” dedicated to helping people navigate health information online to find trustworthy, evidence-based sources they can use with their care providers to make well-informed decisions. 

“Many websites are created to look credible to the untrained eye, but consumers should be asking themselves questions like, ‘Who wrote it? Who has reviewed it? And how recent is the information?’” said registered nurse Jacqueline Hoying, director of the Fuld Institute’s Community Core. “We provide resources and websites that contain trusted information that has been verified for accuracy with scientific evidence and peer-reviewed research. We also educate people about being able to look at a website and decide for themselves, ‘Is this accurate or not?’”

Experts stress that your doctor’s office is the best place to seek health information. However, if you are searching online, it’s important to verify information before re-sharing it to avoid spreading myths that could deter people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Katharine Hayes (right) received her COVID-19 vaccine when she was 12 weeks pregnant. She made her decision based on research from trusted sources and conversations with her doctor and tried to avoid unverified information and myths linking the vaccine to pregnancy issues.

A pregnant woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine at an outpatient care clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

A nurse draws a COVID-19 vaccine at an outpatient care clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Several peer-reviewed research studies have found the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and doesn’t cause any issues for fertility, despite misinformation reporting otherwise.

It can be difficult to decipher fact from fiction when researching the COVID-19 vaccine, especially for those planning to have a baby. The “Community Core” at The Ohio State College of Nursing’s Fuld Institute for Evidence-based Practice helps people find trustworthy information sources they can use with their care providers to make well-informed health decisions.

Despite myths and misinformation linking the COVID-19 vaccine to infertility and pregnancy issues, infectious disease experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Nursing stress that all the scientific evidence indicates these claims are false, and that the vaccine is not only safe for those planning to have a baby, but protects the health of both women and babies.



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