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VERIFY: Debunking claims about COVID-19 vaccine effects on men's health

There are claims on social media about the COVID-19 vaccines' effects on fertility and susceptibility to other diseases. Our VERIFY team checked with the experts.

TOLEDO, Ohio — There are several claims on social media about the COVID-19 vaccines' effects on fertility and susceptibility to other diseases.

Let's start with a claim that's making the rounds on social media from an online blog called "Health and Money News."

The posting alleges that Pfizer's vaccine can make you infertile. This claim is flat-out false.

We turned to several sources to VERIFY, including a Pfizer representative, the Food and Drug Administration and ProMedica's coronavirus expert, Dr. Brian Kaminski.

Kaminski said there's no data to prove the vaccines will make someone sterile, but COVID-19 itself is another story.

"There is some data out there that suggests that COVID illness in men may lead to erectile dysfunction in some men, which maybe is the corollary to the infertility message that you heard," Kaminski explained.

Another claim we're hearing about says the COVID-19 vaccines can increase the risk of HIV.

The claim stems from an October publication by researchers warning of a cautionary tale from the development of an HIV vaccine years ago.

But as Dr. Kaminski explained, that's not how Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines work.

"There have been vaccines that have been produced in the past, years ago, decades ago, that when men received the vaccine, their susceptibility to contracting HIV in the right setting actually goes up," he said. "We wouldn't believe that to be the case for these newer vaccines because of how they work. Again, we're not using any type of virus being injected into the body at all with the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines."

So we can VERIFY: there's no evidence to support either of these claims.

Remember: it's always better to turn to trusted sources before sharing that post on social media.