UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Pregnancy and infertility concerns are among the top reasons people give for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“At this point over millions of people have been vaccinated and there is absolutely no evidence that there’s any impact of the COVID vaccine on fertility,” – Laura O’Shea, Certified Nurse Midwife for Bassett Healthcare Network, explained.

In fact, a recent study published in Elsevier, a Netherlands-based scientific, technological and medical journal, explains that the COVID virus itself could actually be responsible for infertility.

“Because this is a fairly recent phenomenon I’m not sure I can speak to anything on that,” O’Shea said. “We do not have evidence that we can actually say absolutely that COVID has an impact on fertility. There is evidence that women who have had the COVID virus, there are changes in their menstrual cycles, that has been seen.”

While the research to confirm or deny the possibilities of COVID causing infertility could be years away, O’Shea notes that research now shows how beneficial the vaccine can be for pregnant women and their babies.

“We’ve even seen that vaccinated people’s COVID antibodies can be transferred to their babies and help their babies stay safer,” O’Shea said. “Even after they are born. We can say with great optimism now that this vaccine is safe and it’s effective.” 

As of late September, only 32% of pregnant women who are eligible to receive the vaccine have, this is concerning to O’Shea as pregnant women are more vulnerable than the general population to COVID.

“The risk to pregnant women who get the COVID virus are significant,” O’Shea said. “They are more likely to end up in the ICU, they are more likely to need assistance breathing.”