The Covid-19 vaccine does not cause infertility in women and erectile dysfunction in men, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
Ramaphosa was on the campaign trail for the ruling party in Nelson Mandela Bay, where he urged residents to play their part in the fight against Covid-19 by getting vaccinated.
“The vaccine does not affect your reproductive health and fertility. Don’t entertain those claims. They are simply not true. You will be able to bear children after getting vaccinated.
“Others say if you're a man and you get vaccinated, things will turn sour at home. That is not true. Everything will remain the way it was. Go and vaccinate,” the ANC president told a cheering crowd.
He said vaccination is the only defence SA has against Covid-19, telling the audience the more people who get the jab, the sooner the country can reopen and end lockdowns.
“We have launched the Vooma vaccination drive so everyone gets vaccinated. This will help increase our chances of reopening the country and rid us of lockdown restrictions. We want to bring Covid-19 to an end in SA. That is why we are saying go and vaccinate.”
Gauteng MEC for human settlements Lebogang Maile and basic education minister Angie Motshekga have debunked similar claims in the past.
“I was told in Soweto a health worker said if you are vaccinated you won’t bear children. Young people withdrew their names because they didn’t want to be childless adults,” Motshekga said about the drive to vaccinate teachers.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US said he vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and women who want to have children in future as well as their partners.
“Professional societies for male reproduction recommend men who want to have babies in the future be offered Covid-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems,” it said.
The World Health Organisation said there is no direct link between the vaccine and erectile dysfunction.
“The effects of the Covid-19 vaccines vary from person to person, as with most vaccines. As more people get vaccinated, we may be able to determine patterns. This information continues to be collected and will be shared,” it said.