Northern Ireland news

Northern Ireland anti-abortion group's 'misinformation' about Covid jab causing infertility criticised by WHO

Concerns are mounting about anti-vax groups distributing unsubstantiated claims about the Covid-19 jab

AN anti-abortion group's false claims that the Covid-19 vaccine is linked to infertility have been criticised by the World Health Organisation.

Precious Life, which is based in Northern Ireland, has issued leaflets warning people against getting immunised due to concerns the jabs are "rushed" and that excess deaths are reportedly linked to the jab - but do not provide evidence to support this.

The group also incorrectly claim the vaccines are "developed using cell lines from aborted babies" and that they could affect fertility.

And they state that government guidance advises against pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding receiving the jab, when this is not the case.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned this type of misinformation is putting "lives at risk".

In a statement to The Belfast Telegraph, they said: "Based on what we know about the mRNA vaccine, we don't have any specific reason to believe that there would be risks that outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.

"WHO recommends that the same principles that apply to responding to Covid-19 apply to managing this infodemic.

"We need to prevent, detect and respond to it, together and in solidarity. Misinformation and disinformation put health and lives at risk, undermine trust in science, in institutions and in health systems and are hindering the response to the pandemic."

However, Precious Life director Bernadette Smyth yesterday denied their leaflet contained misinformation and said her organisation had been "discredited".

On Sunday, Health Minister Robin Swann issued a statement rounding on those spreading "unsubstantiated claims" in relation to fertility. He insisted the jabs have been approved as safe and effective by independent experts.

Dr Edward Morris, President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has also moved to reassure women that there is "no evidence" to suggest vaccines will cause infertility.

"Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data," he said.

"There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women's fertility."

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