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VERIFY: No evidence that COVID vaccine causes erectile dysfunction, cancer or infertility

Expert responds to online rumors about Covid-19 vaccine

HOUSTON — There are so many rumors spreading online about the Covid-19 vaccine. The Verify team is working hard to make sure you have just the facts. We had Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar and expert in infectious diseases, critical care and emergency medicine address them. 

CLAIM: It is safe for teenage children to get the vaccine.

TRUE. Dr. Adalja said, “We have data on 16 and 17-year-olds with the Pfizer vaccine and they can get the vaccine.”

CLAIM: Those who react to the vaccine are building antibodies, while those who do not react are not building antibodies.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “Although we usually say that when someone has reactions to a vaccine, that's the sign of their immune system working, just because you don't have that reaction doesn't mean that you're not reacting to the vaccine.”

CLAIM: The vaccine can cause nausea.

TRUE. Dr. Adalja said, “Any vaccine can cause nausea. It can cause some other symptoms as well. Nausea is not one that I've seen very frequently reported, although I have had some colleagues that have reported nausea post vaccine.”

CLAIM: The vaccine causes cancer.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “There's no indication or evidence that this vaccine causes cancer.

CLAIM: The vaccine causes erectile dysfunction.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “There's no evidence that this vaccine has been linked to erectile dysfunction.”

CLAIM: The vaccine causes infertility.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “There's no evidence that this vaccine can cause infertility. This is another arbitrary statement that took a life of its own on social media without any real basis in fact.”

CLAIM: Pregnant women should get the vaccine.

TRUE. Dr. Adalja said, “Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe complications of this virus.”

CLAIM: The side effects are worse for healthier people.

FALSE: Dr. Adalja said, “The side effects occur in most people who get the vaccine, usually after the second dose, and it's unclear whether or not a person's health status has any impact on whether or not they experience more severe or less severe side effects.”

CLAIM: When you get the vaccine, the government automatically gets information and can track you.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “When you get the vaccine, your state may enter your name into a registry like they do for all vaccines. When you get a tetanus shot, your name gets put into a registry that your doctor puts it into.”

CLAIM: I have been vaccinated; I do not have to wear a mask anymore.

FALSE. Dr. Adalja said, “Right now, public health guidance is that even if you've been fully vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask.”