Health Advice



Worried about child's future fertility and COVID-19 vaccine? Know the truth about the risks

Nicole Villalpando, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Health & Fitness

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out for children ages 5 to 11, parents are asking their pediatricians many questions.

One of the most common misconceptions, which doctors heard when teens became eligible as well, has to do with the effect the vaccine might have on future fertility.

It's a myth, says Dr. Elizabeth Knapp, a pediatrician with Austin Regional Clinic.

"Of course, for any new medicine, any new vaccine, we have questions," she said. "Could there be side effects? That's a very rational thought."

Knapp explained that the building blocks of mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer COVID-19 shot for kids are not new.

She also pointed out that the vaccines affect the immune system, not the reproductive system. "They are two different parts of our body that are not interrelated," she said.


This vaccine has not been shown to affect fertility in adults, both those enrolled in the clinical trials and those who have received the vaccine since December.

Dr. Lisa Hansard, a reproductive endocrinologist at Texas Fertility Center, said even her adult patients who are actively trying to get pregnant should get the vaccine.

She said understanding the science of the vaccine is important. It breaks down rapidly at the injection site to cause the antibody response, she said. "Producing antibodies has never been shown to impact current or future pregnancies," Hansard said.

"It's the science of the mRNA vaccine. There's not a physiological reason that (infertility) risk would exist," she said.


swipe to next page
©2021 Gannett Co., Inc. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.