Q: Can you address thoughts that the vaccine recipient “sheds” up to 3 weeks after inoculation and puts non vaccinated people at risk for being sterile?

A recent study out of the Netherlands looked at the characteristics of breakthrough delta SARS-CoV-2 infections in health care workers. They found that vaccine breakthrough infections do occur, but that infectious viral shedding is actually reduced in these cases.[1]

In terms of the vaccine causing sterility, there is no evidence that vaccine recipients are at increased risk of sterility or perinatal complications. Multiple studies have evaluated this and have found no impact.[2] Pregnancy was an exclusion criteria for enrollment in the phase III trials for the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen trials. However, several subjects became pregnant after the trial began. When looking at these subjects, there was no difference between the placebo and vaccine arms of any of the vaccine companies’ trials with regard to pregnancies or miscarriage rates. If one needs more information regarding this topic of pregnancy and the vaccine I highly encourage this living document that is updating on the current data.[3]

Response by Roger Seheult, MD, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and  Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine and Allied Health at Loma Linda University