(WXYZ) — Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible for Pfizer’s kid-sized COVID-19 vaccine, but myths and misinformation are causing confusion and fear amongst parents.
I’ll start by saying that there is no truth to the claim that vaccines affect fertility. I believe the initial rumor that started this was that the vaccine would teach the body to attack a placenta protein. But research has shown that antibodies produced from vaccination did not affect fertility in men or women. Nor do they affect embryo implantation or early pregnancy development in women.
Also, a study in September found that there was no difference in pregnancy rates between women who were vaccinated compared to women who were unvaccinated. And, we also now have plenty of data that shows vaccinated women are not only getting pregnant but having healthy pregnancies.
On top of all that, the American Academy of Pediatrics – a group that is dedicated to the health and well-being of kids – is standing behind the vaccine saying “there is no evidence that the vaccine can lead to loss of fertility”.
Another huge concern is that the COVID-19 vaccine impacts a child’s DNA. The genetic material in Pfizer’s vaccine – which is called mRNA or messenger RNA – cannot change a child’s or person’s DNA. It’s actually biologically impossible.
What does happen, is that the messenger RNA tells the body to make a spike protein. The immune system sees this as something foreign. And it learns to produce protective antibodies to fight it off. The messenger RNA actually never enters the nucleus of a cell – the nucleus is found in the middle of a cell. So it simply cannot change our DNA.
Also, science has shown that messenger RNA is pretty fragile. Once it’s injected, it basically weakens and degrades within a few days. And the human body actually gets rid of the vaccine ingredients.
Now, it may feel like the vaccines were developed quickly but what people don’t know, was that research on coronavirus vaccines had been ongoing for about a decade before the pandemic hit. And this research was partly driven by the original SARS outbreak in 2002 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS in 2012.
So scientists did not start from scratch, no steps were skipped, and several clinical trials took place. And they showed that the vaccines were not only effective and but safe as well. So parents should not worry that Pfizer’s vaccines were created too quickly. And therefore kids should not get the shots.
I highly encourage parents to make an appointment with their pediatrician so that they can ask all their questions and get reliable trustworthy answers.