Do coronavirus vaccines affect fertility?

Social media is awash with unsubstantiated claims the coronavirus vaccines being rolled out across the UK may affect an individual's hopes of becoming a parent down the line.

The jabs cause the body to think it has been infected with the coronavirus’ spike protein, which the pathogen uses to enter cells. The body then launches an immune response against the spike protein, helping to ward off severe disease if the coronavirus were to be encountered.

Some mistakenly believe the spike protein is similar to syncytin-1, a protein involved in the placenta’s development. The unsubstantiated rumours then say launching an immune response against the spike protein will affect syncytin-1, impacting the placenta and ultimately a woman’s fertility.

In reality, these proteins are not similar, with there being no evidence or even biological plausibility to support the coronavirus vaccines impacting any aspect of fertility – whether it be the egg, sperm, fertilisation or implantation of an embryo into the uterus.

Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, has even called these infertility theories “nonsense”.