This spring, a Miami private school banned staff from getting the Covid-19 vaccine. According to the school’s founder, the reason was that “tens of thousands” of women around the globe had experienced reproductive problems from living near someone who had been vaccinated.

Centner Academy stated that there was no medical evidence to support this claim.

Centner has not been alone in its concerns — it’s become a common theme among vaccine skeptics that getting the shot, or even being around someone who has gotten it, can somehow harm women’s fertility.

However, science does not support this idea. Vox spoke with Celine Gounder, an infectious diseases specialist at NYU and Bellevue Hospital. She stated that the vaccine has been tested in women trying to get pregnant, as well as those who are already pregnant and breastfeeding. There have not been any adverse effects. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has confirmed this message, as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and other medical experts.

The myth that vaccines can cause reproductive harm is still a concern. It has spread from anti-vaccine activists to conservative commentators and influencers on Instagram and YouTube. In one June survey, 25 percent of respondents and more than 52 percent of those who did not intend to get vaccinated said they believed vaccines could damage women’s fertility.

False claims regarding vaccines and fertility are part of larger American cultural trends: Skepticism about medical treatments and a focus on natural “wellness” especially in the area of female reproduction. Women who have been historically discriminated against in medical settings and dismissed from wellness ideology may be able to feel a sense that they can control their bodies through wellness ideology.

Carol-Ann Farkas, an English professor from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, who studies pop culture and health, said that many women have experienced this feeling of not being taken seriously. Anti-vaccine disinformation purveyors can provide not only a feeling that someone is listening, but also a feeling that there is clarity and certainty that real science cannot match. Farkas stated that people want answers.

This means that in order to combat concerns about vaccines and fertility, it is necessary not only to discredit the misinformation but also address the ways the American medical system has failed American women and allowed a morphous wellness culture into filling the gap.

How did the false claim that vaccines cause infertility come about?

There are many myths surrounding Covid-19 and infertility.

There are a few misconceptions about the vaccine and menstrual cycles. Some people have reported unusually heavy periods after getting the Covid-19 shot, which isn’t necessarily surprising — “there is definitely a connection between your immune system and your menstrual cycle,” Gounder said. These effects should not last long, however, if they do occur at all. Gounder stated that you can experience a change in your period, but it does not affect fertility.

There’s also the possibility that your vaccine could cause harm to another person’s reproductive system. This myth is often connected to the idea of vaccine shedding, in which a person “sheds” parts of an inoculation from the body after receiving a shot. These components can potentially disrupt other people’s periods or cause harm to their reproductive systems. One viral article, for example, makes the false claim that young girls and postmenopausal women are suddenly getting periods, sometimes with “grapefruit-sized blood clots,” just from being near vaccinated people.

Also Read: U.S. judge set to rule on Native American request to block Nevada mine

Shedding is a real phenomenon, seen with vaccines made from attenuated live viruses, such as the chickenpox vaccine. The viruses in these vaccines are weaker than they were before they were injected. Moreover, the Covid-19 vaccines that are currently being used in the US do not contain live viruses. Gounder stated, “There is no virus that can be shed.”

Your vaccine is only going to have an impact on someone else if they are protected. Gounder said that vaccinating people will make them less likely to give them Covid-19.

A separate claim is made that vaccines that are designed to kill coronavirus spike protein may also be effective against syncytin-1 which occurs in the human body.