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Worried your vaccinated pre-teen will become infertile? Don’t be.

Infectious diseases expert available for interviews about Pfizer’s vaccine approval in adolescents

Now that Pfizer has received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow adolescents ages 12 to 15 to receive its COVID-19 vaccine, the next step will be overcoming vaccine hesitancy in this group, including addressing the myth that the vaccine leads to infertility, said Northwestern Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr. Robert Murphy

“It will be somewhat of a challenge, but let’s face it: kids are the ones who get all the vaccines, so why are you going hold this one back? This is the one (virus) that can kill your grandma. It doesn’t make sense to pick on this vaccine,” said Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Only 50% of parents are saying they will get their 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated, but people eventually will realize school will be so much easier without being in quarantine,” he added.

Reporters interested in interviewing Murphy should e-mail Kristin Samuelson at ksamuelson@northwestern.edu

Debunking the vaccine-causes-infertility myth

To help fight vaccine hesitancy among teens, parents of teens, as well as adult women, experts must debunk the myth that the COVID vaccine causes infertility, which is gaining steam on social media.  

“There is concern among anti-vaccination groups, who say ‘we don’t know how the vaccine will impact fertility,’ but we do know,” Murphy said. “Researchers do many fertility studies in animals in the pre-clinical phase and found there was no infertility in the animals.”

“When researchers first conduct the clinical studies in humans, pregnant women are not allowed to participate, but then of course there are always women who get pregnant during the study,” Murphy said, citing a study published April 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine. “They were all vaccinated, and at all stages of pregnancy — from conception all the way until the third trimester — there were no problems. The babies received antibodies, and no one got hurt. It was because of that study that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines for vaccinating pregnant people.”