Do vaccines cause infertility? No, local doctors explain as they clear misconceptions at Women’s Health Town Hall

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Doctors and medical experts from across the South Plains answered questions about the COVID-19 vaccine at Thursday’s Women Health Town Hall.

The panel took questions from parents, pediatricians, and hopeful parents to clear up misconceptions about the vaccine.

“This is a really unique event. We’re told no other city in Texas has tried to put something together like this before,” Dr. Jessica Gray, a family medicine physician at University Medical Center and an organizer of the town hall said. “There are a lot of misconceptions still about the vaccine… all five of us talk to patients every single day about these myths and try to dispel this misinformation.”

The panel took questions from citizens, focusing on topics about women and mothers. They addressed misconceptions about children, infertility and the ingredients of the vaccine.

“The mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) were not and never were derived from fetal cells,” Dr. Gray said.

“Whenever it is absolutely necessary to use cells, we are not recruiting women to get abortions done to use their cells for that reason. All of these cells have been frozen since the 1960s,” Dr. Sharilyn Almodovar of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said.

“There is not evidence of a link between the COVID vaccine and infertility,” Dr. Bennett Henderson with Covenant Health said.

The panel comes as these physicians are also combatting another myth- that COVID-19 cases are declining in the Lubbock community.

In fact, they said Lubbock County is one of only four counties in Texas with rising COVID-19 cases.

“This is something we need to pay attention to, and just because we’ve heard it all over and over again does not mean it’s going away,” Dr. Gray said.

The panel included OBGYN Dr. Bennett Henderson and Pediatric doctor Vanessa Dalton of Covenant Health and Chair of Psychiatry Dr. Sarah Mallard Wakefield of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Jessica Gray of University Medical Center.

All physicians expressed an understanding of the vast flow of conflicting information that parents are trying to navigate, and encouraged all women with questions to ask their doctor.

“We really have a difficult time being able to filter out all the information we’re getting,” Dr. Sarah Mallard Wakefield said. “So I want to give you a tip, what I do, when I’m confused about medical information and I’m not sure what the next step is… I call my doctor.”

CORRECTION: A quote from Dr. Sharilyn Almodovar was mistakenly attributed to someone else. The attribution was corrected.

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