COVID-19 vaccine facts and debunking myths — the semi-complete list

COVID-19 vaccine facts

There are so many myths about the COVID-19 vaccine, I wanted to post some facts about the new vaccines which we can use for debunking purposes. I used to think that the HPV vaccine brought the most hatred and misinformation from the anti-vaccine world, but it’s clear that the new COVID-19 vaccines are their new targets.

This article will only focus on the five vaccines that I believe will eventually receive FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Janssen), and Novavax vaccines. I remain unconvinced that any vaccine made in China or the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will ever get approved by countries with robust drug regulatory agencies. However, if they are, I will certainly add them to a future iteration of this list.

I’m going to make this in a basic chart form for ease of use in finding COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths. I will link to supporting evidence wherever relevant.

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Fertility impacts of COVID vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 infections

COVID vaccines fertility

A new peer-reviewed article examined the effect of COVID-19 vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 on the fertility of men and women. Spoiler alert — the vaccine has no impact on fertility, but a COVID-19 infection lowers male fertility.

For some reason, one of the major tropes of the anti-vaccine world is trying to claim that vaccines have some effect on fertility. For example, I’ve written several articles debunking these claims about the HPV vaccine. I think they push these tropes about vaccines because it is an adverse effect that would strike at the heart of anyone thinking about the vaccine.

They have done the same thing with the COVID-19 vaccines — they want you to believe that they have some effect on fertility. But they’re wrong because we have even more powerful evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines do not have any effect on fertility.

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Gayle DeLong, anti-HPV vaccine and anti-autism, died from breast cancer

Gayle DeLong, who wasn’t a scientist, let alone a vaccine scientist, and who wrote an article that tried to claim that the HPV vaccine causes infertility, recently died of breast cancer. Of course, she blamed her breast cancer on her childs’ autism.

In general, I try to forgive people for their mistakes, especially when they are no longer able to respond to criticism. But, I just can’t. Her unscientific rants against the HPV vaccine probably lead to enough people refusing to get the vaccine, and that will lead to additional deaths from HPV-related cancers. That is unforgivable.

Despite that, I don’t wish she had died, especially of breast cancer. No one deserves that fate.

But I wanted to take one last look at her disinformation campaign about the HPV vaccine and some of the things she said in her life. She shouldn’t be remembered as a hero to the anti-vaccine world, but as someone whose words ostensibly have led to cancer and the deaths of too many people

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Centner Academy bans students who get the COVID vaccine for 30 days

three men standing near window

The expensive, privileged, anti-vaccine Miami private school, Centner Academy, has decided to ban students for 30 days after they get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine which was recently approved by the FDA for 12-year and older children. I’ve written about the Centner Academy before when they banned teachers who received the COVID-19 vaccine because of “shedding” concerns.

In April 2020, the school wrote to teachers that “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” They claim that vaccinated people could pass on the so-called harmful effects of the shot and have a “potential impact” on unvaccinated students and staff.

The school’s co-founder, Leila Centner, claims that those children (and teachers) who had received the COVID-19 vaccine can somehow shed the virus, which in turn can cause menstrual cycle irregularities, miscarriages, and sterility in other women just by being in close proximity to vaccinated people.

And just to be clear, there are no live, dead, or otherwise whole viruses in the vaccine, so the risk of shedding is approximately equal to zero. Nada, Nichts. Zilch. The probability of a COVID-19 vaccine shedding is approximately equal to the probability that I will win an Academy Award for something.

Centner wrote previously, “we cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.” She must get this nonsense from Kelly Brogan, anti-vaccine quack, who seems to have something to do with Centner and this school.

Centner also cited debunked claims that the vaccine causes infertility based on “reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated. So, the Centner Academy bans vaccinated children (and teachers) based on debunked adverse events from nonexistent shedding. That’s a whole new level of pseudoscience.

Let’s be clear that that the scientific consensus states that this vaccine is is very effective and carries few risks.

Simply put, COVID-19 vaccine shedding does not exist, but I will spend a few moments debunking it again.

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Nicki Minaj, COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause swollen testicles or impotence

people holding small clear glass bottles

I don’t know what it is about vaccines and fear of infertility, but now rapper Nicki Minaj has stepped into the COVID-19 vaccine “discussion.” And like every claim that, in some magical way, vaccines have an effect on fertility, she’s wrong.

Worse yet, Nicki Minaj knows as much about vaccines as my cat, yet she gets to use her platform on social media to spread her misinformation. That’s the battle for the hearts and minds of people in these vaccines discussions is so difficult – maybe 10,000 people will read this article in which I debunk the “COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility” myth for the 10th time. But millions will see her social media posts.

So, here I go again, I’m going to tell you again that vaccines, specifically the ones for COVID-19, are not going to cause infertility in men or women. Sigh. And the thought that I have to write a debunking of something from Nicki Minaj is surreal.

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COVID vaccines and infertility – study shows no effect on ovarian function

COVID-19 vaccines infertility

As a result of various tropes about COVID-19 vaccines, anti-vaxxers claim that the vaccine causes infertility. It does not, and now we have a small study that shows no effect on ovarian function that sometimes can lead to infertility in women.

The claims about vaccines and infertility are one of the go-to tropes of the anti-vaccine world. For example, they tried this nonsense with the HPV vaccine which was based on a retracted study, and they failed. They tried to claim that the tetanus vaccine caused “mass sterilization” in Africa, and they failed there too.

This time quacks like Christiane Northrop, a retired OB/GYN with no expertise in vaccine research, are trying to claim the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will cause infertility. Anti-vaxxers are trying to use some seriously twisted “logic” to get from the facts about these vaccines to a major myth that somehow, in some magical way, these vaccines will cause infertility. 

Let’s get right to the point – no, they don’t. But let me give you the science.

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COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not cause infertility – another myth debunked

COVID-19 mrna vaccines infertility

Here we go again with another anti-vaccine myth about infertility and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The anti-vaccine zealots are so predictable. They grab onto a trope and hang on for dear life. They tried this nonsense with the HPV vaccine which was based on a retracted study, and they failed. They tried to claim that the tetanus vaccine caused “mass sterilization” in Africa, and they failed there too.

This time, it’s the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will cause infertility.  Anti-vaxxers are trying to use some seriously twisted “logic” to get from the facts about these vaccines to a major myth that somehow, in some magical way, these vaccines will cause infertility.

Let’s get right to the point – no, they don’t. But let me give you the science.

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