Fact check: Taking COVID-19 vaccine around your periods won’t affect its efficacy

A viral message claiming that women should not take the COVID-19 vaccine five days before and after their periods has no truth to it, say doctors.
Woman taking COVID-19 vaccine
Woman taking COVID-19 vaccine
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A viral message doing the rounds on WhatsApp and other social networks claims women should not take the vaccine for COVID-19 five days before and after their periods. “Don’t take the vaccine before and after 5 days of your periods because immunity will be very low during periods. Dosage of vaccine first decreases immunity later it builds immunity so, there is a high risk of attack for one who vaccinated during periods (sic),” it claims.

This message has no truth to it, as pointed out by many doctors. "It's nonsense," said virologist Dr Vijayalekshmi to TNM about the viral post that women having their period should not take the vaccine. "Another post going around is that if you take your vaccine you cannot donate blood. That's also nonsense. Only thing is the Indian government has not approved is vaccines for pregnant and lactating women. Even that is allowed in abroad trials," she added.

Doctor Faheem Younus, Chief of Infectious Diseases at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH), Maryland USA, has a tweet debunking this fake claim that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be taken around periods. “Myth: COVID Vaccine will cause female/male infertility or don’t take it around periods or other reproductive fears… Fact: It’s Nonsense. There is no scientific data to suggest this. NO ONE should be afraid of the vaccine except the VIRUS,” he tweeted.

Doctor Munjaal V Kapadia, a gynaecologist from Mumbai too has put out a tweet to clarify that the WhatsApp message is fake. “A lot of patients messaging me asking if it’s safe/ effective to take the vaccine during their period. Some silly WhatsApp rumour has spooked everyone. Your period has no effect on the vaccine efficacy. Take it as soon as you can. Spread the word, please,” reads his tweet.

On Saturday, Singer Chinmayi did interaction with gynaecologist Dr Manjula Anagani to specifically debunk this claim.

Beginning May 1, the government of India has opened vaccination for all above the age of 18 in the country. Keeping this in mind, the fake message being shared on social networks is addressed to all women above the age of 18.

Meanwhile, researchers have been working on a study to determine if COVID-19 vaccine has any effect on period cycle. Several anecdotal references where women have raised concerns on changes in their period cycles after taking the COVID-19 vaccine has led to this study being pursued. Reortedly, Dr Kathryn Clancy, an associate professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Dr Katherine Lee, a post-doctoral scholar in the public health sciences division at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis are the ones leading this research.

At present, there is no substantial medical evidence to prove any adverse effect to a woman’s period cycle by taking the available COVID-19 vaccines.

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