Covid vaccines and pregnancy: fact checked

20 August 2021 | Team Full Fact

We all deserve information we can trust, especially when making important decisions about our health. 

For pregnant women and their families, this has been an especially worrying time. Vaccine uptake among pregnant women has been lower than other groups and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists highlight that there has recently been a rise in the number of pregnant women hospitalised with Covid-19.

Pregnant Then Screwed, a charity which campaigns for the rights of pregnant women and mothers, recently ran a survey which highlighted the fear and confusion arising from misinformation and conflicting health advice.

That’s why Full Fact and Pregnant Then Screwed are working together on a new WhatsApp helpline service. From today, pregnant women and their families will be able to request fact checks directly from Full Fact. 

Banner with information about WhatsApp helpline service

See the fact checks we've published so far as part of the Pregnant Then Screwed x Full Fact project

Throughout the pandemic, Full Fact has worked to challenge Covid-19 misinformation, including fears that vaccines impact fertility, or can alter people’s DNA.

Common questions we’ve already answered include:

  • There is no evidence that Covid vaccines are causing miscarriages
    There is no scientific reason the vaccine might be expected to affect pregnancy. Studies observing pregnant women who have been vaccinated have found people are not more likely to suffer a miscarriage if they have had the Covid-19 vaccine.

    But we do know from several studies that severe Covid illness is more likely for women who are pregnant than those who aren’t, especially for those in the third trimester. False claims circulating about a supposed link between vaccines and miscarriage are often based on incorrect calculations, or misreading of the Yellow Card reporting scheme.

  • There is no evidence that Covid vaccines affect fertility
    The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) which is the professional association of pregnancy, childbirth, and women's reproductive and sexual health says that there is “no evidence” to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility. Similar statements have been issued by the British Fertility Association, the NHS and Public Health England.

    The RCOG also states that there is no biologically plausible mechanism by which the vaccine would cause fertility problems. The RCOG and the British Fertility Association recommend that women eligible for the vaccine and who are pregnant, or planning to conceive in the near or distant future, get the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Banner with link to all the fact checks published as part of the Pregnant Then Screwed x Full Fact project

Full Fact have partnered with Pregnant Then Screwed as part of the Vaccine Grant Program — a fund created by the International Fact-Checking Network with financial support from WhatsApp to help fact-checking organisations quickly scale up their projects to fight Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.

Full Fact is independent and impartial. Our fact checks always use publicly available information and link to our sources, so you don’t have to take our word for what we say. 

We never tell people what to think, or what choices to make. We direct people to accurate information from reputable sources, so that they can make the most informed choice possible for themselves.

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