On September 14, 2021, Trinidad-born rapper, singer and songwriter Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to claim that COVID-19 vaccine is leading to swelling of testicles in men.
She tweeted, “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”
The link to the Tweet can be seen here and its archive can be seen here.
A screenshot of the Tweet has also gone viral on Facebook. Many Facebook users are sharing the Tweet which can be seen here, here, here and here.
NewsMobile did a fact-check and found the claim to be fake.
Nicki mentions that COVID-19 vaccine has caused inflammation of testicles in her cousin’s friend. Inflammation of the testicle is called Orchitis and it can be caused by viral or bacterial infections and sometimes the cause is unknown.
We found that Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh had refuted the claim and said that no such case of swelling of testicles due to COVID-19 vaccine was found.
We could not any media report suggesting that COVID-19 is causing Orchitis.
On searching with the keyword, “COVID vaccine causes erectile dysfunction”, we found a report by the United States Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (US CDC). According to the report, it is essential for people who are planning to have children to get vaccinated. The report suggests there is no evidence to show that any COVID-19 vaccine causes fertility problems in women or men. The report further said that research done on 45 men, who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) suggested that the sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination were not impacted significantly.
WHO also mentions that COVID-19 vaccines may cause minor impacts like mild fever, arm soreness, muscle, and joint pain, etc. But it nowhere mentions that the vaccine causes orchitis or infertility in males.
WHO head scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan also mentioned that ‘there is absolutely no scientific evidence or truth behind this concern that vaccines somehow interfere with fertility, either in men or in women, because what vaccines do is they stimulate an immune response against that particular protein or antigen of that virus or bacteria. So in this case, the COVID vaccine stimulates both antibody response and a cell-mediated immune response against the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So, there is no way in which they could interfere with the functioning of the reproductive organs in either men or women. So, I think people can rest assured that these vaccines in no way interfere with fertility’.
Hence, from the above information, it is clear that the post is misleading.
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