Does Pfizer COVID Vaccine Lower Sperm Quality?

Concerns in regards to the COVID vaccines affecting fertility have cropped up a number of occasions over the course of the pandemic.

Much analysis has been carried out to reassure folks that vaccines haven’t any impact on fertility or being pregnant in ladies.

There have additionally been research into whether or not vaccines have an effect on sperm high quality in males, certainly one of which has been broadly shared on-line just lately.

Sperm cells
A inventory picture depicts sperm cells. There have been a number of research into COVID vaccines and fertility.
SciePro/Getty

The Claim

On June 17, a research was revealed within the journal Andrology titled ‘COVID-19 vaccination BNT162b2 briefly impairs semen focus and whole motile depend amongst semen donors’.

The research was shared on Reddit, the place it gained greater than 17,000 upvotes inside three days and round 1,500 feedback. Some customers expressed concern in regards to the research’s outcomes, which appeared to indicate a brief decline in sperm counts following vaccination.

The Facts

As its title suggests, the June 17 research does certainly seem to indicate {that a} decline in sperm focus occurred some months after vaccination in a small group of males who volunteered to take part.

Specifically, the research investigated 220 sperm samples from 37 males who had had two doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. Sperm samples had been obtained a number of occasions—as soon as earlier than vaccination (T0) as soon as 15 to 45 days after vaccination (T1), as soon as 75 to 150 days after vaccination (T2), and as soon as greater than 150 days after vaccination (T3).

In every pattern, the researchers investigated components equivalent to semen quantity, sperm focus, sperm motility, and whole motile depend.

No important change occurred between T0 and T1, however sperm focus was discovered to be roughly 15.4 p.c decrease by T2 and whole motile depend was 22.1 p.c decrease. Volume and motility weren’t modified considerably. By T3, the reductions appeared to have recovered.

The authors harassed that moderately than being regarding, their outcomes “confirm previous reports regarding vaccines’ overall safety and reliability despite minor short-term side effects.”

The research reads: “Since misinformation about health-related subjects represents a public health threat, our findings should support vaccination programs.”

However, the research is just not conclusive regardless of its obvious findings. Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, director of reproductive urology on the University of Miami Health System, instructed Newsweek that he thought of the modifications noticed within the research to be inside a traditional vary.

“Even though the numbers may be statistically significant, I don’t think they achieve clinical significance,” he mentioned. “Maybe men who mount a large immune response to the vaccine could have an adverse but temporary impact but larger studies are needed to definitively answer the question.”

Amelia Wesselink, analysis assistant professor of epidemiology on the Boston University School of Public Health, who has carried out research into COVID vaccination and fertility, instructed Newsweek that it was good that the research collected a number of semen samples earlier than and after vaccination, however highlighted its small pattern dimension.

She additionally added the authors didn’t say whether or not they accounted for different components which may have an effect on semen traits, like stress or seasonal variation. Even COVID itself may have an effect on sperm high quality.

“We have known for a long time that fever can impair sperm development and function,” she mentioned. “So it certainly is possible that if fever is a side effect of vaccination, sperm quality could be harmed in the next couple of months. But the same is true for other things that cause fever—including COVID infection. And for COVID infection, there is evidence that damage to sperm can last beyond several months. So overall, these results, if causal, are not particularly concerning.”

It can also be not the one research to research vaccines and sperm high quality. One research, as a consequence of be revealed in The International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics subsequent month and revealed on-line in February, advised that vaccines haven’t any ailing results on sperm high quality, based mostly on 898 samples from 33 males. These males’s sperm samples had been examined as soon as earlier than their second Pfizer vaccine shot and as soon as once more no less than 72 days after.

In truth, that research even advised that whole sperm depend and whole motile depend elevated after the second vaccine in comparison with earlier than vaccination.

A June, 2021 research revealed in The Journal of the American Medical Association involving 45 males got here to an analogous conclusion, showing to indicate that there have been “no significant decreases in any sperm parameter” earlier than and after two doses of both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and likewise appeared to indicate a rise. The authors advised this enhance was “within normal individual variation and may be influenced by regression to the mean.”

The Ruling

Fact Check - Mostly False

Mostly False.

One research does certainly seem to indicate {that a} second vaccine dose coincided with a brief decline in sperm depend that later recovered, however it isn’t a conclusive research and a number of earlier research had proven the alternative to be true. More analysis on this subject is required.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK

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