NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has became the latest authority figure to refute unfounded claims the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility, which have circulated on social media for months.

At the daily 11am presser on Saturday, Hazzard said that not only are the fertility claims not true, but getting a vaccine protects you against long COVID, which may actually impact your chances to conceive.

“I just want to confirm that the most senior health advisory service in Australia has confirmed absolutely, that there is no evidence whatsoever that a woman’s fertility or a man’s fertility would be in any way affected by having the vaccine,” Hazzard said.

“A strong point though that was made to me when I was enquiring about the evidence is that particularly young women and girls who are contemplating having a child should understand that if they don’t have the vaccine, and they do get the virus, they may suffer from long COVID or from symptoms that would actually make it more difficult to be able to have children.

“I think the strong message here is don’t believe what you are seeing in the social media, don’t believe what is on some of these sites that indicate that the vaccines will cause any difficulty in you getting pregnant, it certainly won’t.”

It’s a statement backed up by the World Health Organisation, which says there’s “absolutely no scientific evidence or truth” any vaccines – including the COVID-19 vaccines – have any impact on fertility for either men or women.

“There is no way in which they could interfere with the functioning of the reproductive organs in either men or women,” the WHO’s Dr Soumya Swaminathan said.

When PEDESTRIAN.TV interviewed former deputy CMO and infectious diseases expert Dr Nick Coatsworth about this exact same issue last month, he said the same thing:

“The most conclusive study we’ve got is that there were no miscarriages in pregnant women who took the vaccine.

“We haven’t done the studies on fertility, but there is no evidence it’s a concern, and we know it doesn’t cause miscarriages.”

And while women have spoken about changes to their periods after the vaccine (such as heavier bleeding or changes to frequency / duration), there’s little evidence to tie it to the vaccines themselves.

“There have been a small number of scientific studies of variable quality reporting on menstrual cycle features during the pandemic, but it is still unclear whether apparent changes are due to COVID-19 infection/illness itself, or other pandemic-related factors like increased psychological stress and changes in health behaviours,” one paper said.

Look, we get it: with so much misinformation flying around, vaccinations can make people nervous. And cis women have enough concerns about their fertility and biological clock without adding a pandemic, a vaccine and a heap of lifestyle influencers just “asking questions” thrown in the mix.

But getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best decision you can make for your own health, the health of your loved ones, and reopening Australia’s domestic and international borders. Let’s get it done.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.