Women advised to embrace COVID-19 vaccines

Women advised to embrace COVID-19 vaccines
Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, Ministry of Health Undersecretary (photo credit: Sheila Ponnie/City Review)

The Minister of Health has urged women to embrace the COVID-19 vaccines after reporting a low turn-out across the country over alleged fears of vaccine side effects.

Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health appealed to women get their jabs saying the vaccines were safe.

“I want to make a call to women out there that Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca are safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 prevention,” said Victoria.

The Undersecretary dismissed what she termed as a wrong perception among the women that the vaccines can lead to infertility.

“I want to encourage you not to listen to rumors out there that the vaccines cause infertility; the vaccines do not cause infertility,” she stressed.

Dr. Victoria made the statement yesterday during the reception of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Juba International Airport.  It was a donation from the United States government.

Warns against misinformation

She urged the South Sudanese women not to be taken up by misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines saying getting vaccinated will prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Dr. Angelo Goup Thon, Director of South Sudan Public Health Emergency Operation Center confirmed that the ratio of women not going for the vaccine was so big in the country.

“The ratio is big and it might be 5 to 1 so the majority are men who are turning up for the vaccine,” he said.

Dr. Angelo said this is a serious issue that needs research.

 “I think it is due to the rumors that people spread around about the vaccine that is making the women not to get the vaccine but is not true. So, women should go and get the vaccines, they are safe,” he said

Gabor Kelen, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (Johns Hopkins Medicines), reviewed some of the common myths that are circulating about the vaccine and cleared up the confusion with reliable facts.

Kelen explained the myth that the COVID-19 vaccine can affect women’s fertility.

He said the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect fertility but just encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’ surface.

It “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.

According to Kelen, the confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncytin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy.

The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility.

‘‘The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods,’’ he stated.

During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss had not received the actual vaccine, but a placebo.