A massively viral image on social media cautions women above 18 years of age to not take coronavirus vaccine five days before and after their menstrual cycle as it can “affect immunity” of a person.
However, we spoke to several gynaecologists who didn’t only rubbish the viral claim but added, “There is no problem if a woman takes vaccine during, after and before periods unless she is planning for a baby. Don’t withhold your vaccination because of this.”
The message in the viral image claims that one’s immunity is “very less” when they are experiencing periods. So, it urges women to not take vaccine before and after five days of their menstrual cycle.
“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),” the message reads.
Several social media users have shared the viral image with similar claims on Twitter and the archived tweets can be viewed here and here. The Quint received multiple queries on the claim being made in the viral image on its WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The viral message makes several claims on immunity, it’s link with periods, and impact of vaccination while one is close to the menstrual cycle. Let’s analyse the claims one by one.
CLAIM 1: IMPACT OF PERIODS ON IMMUNITY
We spoke to gynaecologists who completely rubbished the claims being made in the viral message.
Dr Anjila Aneja, gynaecologist at Fortis La-Femme, said that periods do not have any impact on the immunity of a person.
“There is no problem if a woman takes vaccine during, after and before periods unless she is planning for a baby. Don’t withhold your vaccination because of this,” she added.
We also spoke to Dr Suvarna Rai, consultant gynaecologist at SLG Hospitals who called it a myth.
CLAIM 2: VACCINE DECREASES IMMUNITY
The Quint’s WebQoof team had earlier debunked the false claim that COVID-19 vaccines decrease immunity of a person.
We didn’t find any research report which said that immunity is reduced after taking the vaccine.
Further, speaking to The Quint’s WebQoof team, Dr Jacob T John, former head of ICMR’s Centre for Advanced Research in Virology had earlier said that claim is absolutely wrong.
“Several research reports have revealed that a vaccine is not completely effective, but it reduces the chances of infection in the body, and if the person is not infected, then the risk of COVID-19 is also reduced. The claim that the immunity of the body decreases after taking the first dose of the vaccine is absolutely wrong.”Dr Jacob T John, former head of ICMR’s Centre for Advanced Research in Virology
DOCTORS TAKE TO TWITTER TO CALL OUT THE MISINFORMATION
Several experts took to Twitter to call out the misinformation.
The government had earlier announced the decision to permit everyone above 18 years of age to be vaccinated from 1 May and amid that we are witnessing a spike in misinformation. This is one such claim which is neither backed by data nor evidence.
Further, neither the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare nor the two vaccine manufacturers – Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) and Serum Institute (Covishield) – made any such contraindication.
(This story has been published as a part of The Quint’s COVID-19 vaccine fact-check project targeting rural women.)
(This article has been edited to remove Dr Munjaal Kapadia's comments. The Quint has come across some of his personal tweets from 2010, which the platform is of an opinion are inappropriate in nature. Consequently, we have decided to withdraw his comments from our platforms.)