Starting from 1 May, everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine in India. But a viral message on social media may put off many from taking the vaccine.
Cautioning about the potential vaccine complications, the message warns women not to take the vaccine five days before and after their periods.
Fact Crescendo received many requests about this message on our WhatsApp Factline.
Experts told us that the viral message is not based on facts and people should ignore such misinformation.
WHAT’S THE CLAIM?
The message reads: For girls, it’s very important to check periods and take vaccination. Don’t take the vaccine before and after 5 days of your periods because immunity will be very less 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.
Original Post – Twitter
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) also does not mention “being on your period as a reason to put off the vaccine.”
Even the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has not ruled out menstrual cycles as a contraindication for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) and Serum Institute of India (Covishield) have released fact-sheets to help the recipient understand the risks and benefits of the vaccine. None of the fact-sheets mention anything about not taking the vaccine during a menstrual cycle.
Dr. Shrinivas Gadappa, HOD of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Government Medical College & Hospital Aurangabad, told Fact Crescendo that the viral message is not true.
“Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone have to be seen during the various phases of the menstrual cycle,” he said speaking about the immunity during the period.
“During the last 5 days of the menstrual cycle, inflammatory responses return to normal due to hormone-acting lipid called prostaglandin. This inflammatory response has no effect on the immune response of the body to vaccines. The Covid-19 vaccine takes a few weeks to elicit immune response post-vaccination and has no relation with the menstrual cycle.”
He clarified that there is no reason women should not take a vaccine before or after five days after periods. However, if anyone is not feeling well or going through severe pain, they should seek a doctor’s advice before taking the vaccine.
“Everyone’s ability to bear pain is different. There is some decrease in immune response in the mid menstrual cycle but this is not significant enough to avoid vaccination,” Dr. Gadappa said.
Responding to the viral message on Twitter, Dr. Tanaya Narendra rubbished it as “extremely untrue”.
“It’s safe to take the vaccine on your period. Your immunity is not low on your period. The vaccine does not lower your immunity. It builds your immunity. Please get the vaccine as soon as possible and ignore these fake claims!” she advised in a tweet.
Javeed Siddiqui, MD, an infectious disease specialist based in California, has told one health portal that menstruation is not a reason not to receive a vaccine. There is no harm that it would cause the patient. If you have any healthcare concerns regarding immunization, you should speak with a trusted healthcare professional.
PIB also put out a tweet urging people not to fall for this rumour.
“Message asking women not to take Covid-19 Vaccine 5 days before and after their menstrual cycle is fake,” the tweet reads.
Experts are trying to assuage concerns and combat misinformation about how the Covid-19 vaccines may affect menstrual cycles and fertility, after anecdotal reports that some people experienced earlier, later, heavier, or more painful periods following the jab, reported the Guardian. So far, there are no data linking the vaccines to changes in menstruation.
Given the expert opinion, it is safe to assume that women can take the Covid-19 vaccine five days before and after periods. There is no reason to put off vaccination fearing any negative complications. Still, if you have any doubt or concern, you must take a doctor or health expert’s help before making any decision.
Title:Should Women Not Take Covid-19 Vaccine 5 Days Before and After their Periods?Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team