Vaccine hesitancy has emerged as one of the biggest challenges in beating the COVID-19 pandemic. Misinformation on social media networks about side-effects of taking the COVID-19 vaccine have had a real-world impact.

Recently, social media went abuzz with posts warning of miscarriages following COVID-19 shots, citing data from a US government reporting system, reports AFP which conducted a fact-check on said reports.

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The fact-check found that the reports are not proof that vaccines were the problem in the cited miscarriages.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no current evidence to show an increase in miscarriages following COVID-19 immunization.

Miscarriage ‘is a relatively common experience’ and occurs in about 10–20% known pregnancies when the foetus is not developing normally, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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It is true that reports of miscarriage following COVID-19 immunisation have indeed been submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a description of the programmes’ database says it “contains information on unverified reports of adverse events (illnesses, health problems and/or symptoms) following immunization with US-licensed vaccines.”

The VAERS website also says that these “reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.”

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The CDC, which runs the VAERS program along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said: “To date, no evidence has indicated an increase in miscarriages after Covid-19 vaccines, and no concerning patterns of reporting have been observed,” reported AFP Fact Check. 

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The CDC website cautions that there is limited data about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant woman because its impact on them has not been studies. But based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe that they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant, says the page on the CDC website.