COVID-19 vaccine will not cause infertility, says NMA 

Angela Onwuzoo

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and cannot cause infertility, says President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Innocent Ujah. 

According to him, the vaccine will help to stop the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.

Prof. Ujah stated this in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise. He was reacting to a social media post that claimed COVID-19 vaccine could cause infertility. 

The NMA president who is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology told our correspondent that the claim is false, baseless and lacks scientific proof.

Nigeria is expecting its first batch of COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the month.

However, contentious discussions, especially on social media platforms, have centred on the safety, efficacy and possible side effects of the vaccine. 

But Ujah allaying those fears says there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine would affect fertility. 

The researcher said, “It is untrue that COVID-19 vaccine will cause infertility. We heard this during the polio vaccine eradication programme. 

“That was even terrible. Some people claimed it was meant to reduce the population of the north. But you know that is not true. 

“The truth is that Nigerians are very pessimistic. And we have all sorts of people in Nigeria; where people are wanting something good, others want to destroy it and also to make gain out it for nothing. 

“There is no component or element of contraception or birth control in the vaccine. 

“It is just misinformation on social media. People should disregard such information. It is just speculative and has no evidence.”I don’t see why anybody would think about such a thing.”

The professor further said, “Europe and America are all taking the vaccine. If we can get the vaccine, it is something we must embrace and accept because it will certainly reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

“We do not have any other option now apart from the vaccine and observance of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control protocols.”

According to the World Health Organisation, vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. 

The WHO identifies complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence as key reasons underlying hesitancy. 

“Health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines”, the world health body affirms.

Recall that the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, had during a recent briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed that Nigeria would take delivery of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January.

NPHCDA boss had said the country is planning to start administering the COVID-19 vaccine on Nigerians before the end of March.

According to him, Nigeria expects to receive free 42 million doses of vaccines in the second phase through the COVAX facility being administered by 10 Global Vaccines Alliance.

Also, the Federal Government, he said, has opened talks with the Peoples Republic of China to have access to COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria.

Prof Ujah called on the NPHCDA and the National Orientation Agency to mount a very effective and intensive public campaign and sensitisation on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He noted that many people are sceptical about the vaccine and therefore, need to be properly educated to allay their fears and concerns.

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