Nicki Minaj has caused a bit of a stir these past 24 hours, even being mentioned at a Downing Street press conference – and, no, it’s not for her Met Gala outfit (she wasn’t allowed to attend as she hadn’t been vaccinated).
The furore instead surrounds a tweet she posted implying the Covid vaccine has links to male impotence.
The rapper said her cousin had refused the vaccine after his friend had developed “swollen testicles” and “became impotent” after his jab.
But, unsurprisingly, there is no evidence to back up the claimed link.
In fact, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine recently looked into this very connection with a study of 45 men that showed that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for the male reproductive system.
Researchers looked at sperm characteristics, including quantity and movement, before and after vaccination, and found no significant changes after the vaccine.
The study was backed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, which have also recommended that you should get vaccinated against Covid-19 if you or your partner is trying to get pregnant now or in the future.
No evidence to date shows that any existing vaccines, including Covid-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in either men or women, the CDC said.
And Chris Whitty agrees with them. In Tuesday’s Downing Street press conference, he said Minaj’s claims were “clearly designed just to scare”.
Prof Whitty said: “There are a number of myths that fly around... some of which are just clearly ridiculous, and some of which are clearly designed just to scare. That happens to be one of them. That is untrue.”
Researchers have also pointed out that you’re more likely to have fertility issues after contracting coronavirus than you are after the vaccine.
Emma Duncan, Professor of Clinical Endocrinology, King’s College London also refutes Minaj’s tweet.
She tells HuffPost UK: “The question of male fertility and Covid-19 vaccines has been studied and there is no evidence that sperm counts or motility or male fertility are affected by vaccination.
“Research showed it was extremely unlikely that an mRNA vaccine would cause a problem.
“What I feel is more important to highlight is that in contrast to the lack of evidence for vaccines harming fertility and sperm, there is evidence that having Covid-19 can harm fertility and sperm counts.”
So, sorry Nicki, you’re wrong on this one.