UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — Pregnancy and infertility concerns are among the top reasons people give for not getting the COVID vaccine.

“At this point over millions of people have been vaccinated and there is absolutely no evidence that there’s any impact of the COVID vaccine on fertility,” said Laura O’Shea, Certified Nurse Midwife for Bassett Healthcare Network.

“We do not have evidence that we can actually say absolutely that COVID has an impact on fertility,” O’Shea said. “There is evidence that women who have had the COVID virus, there are changes in their menstrual cycles, that has been seen.”

In fact, a recent study published in Elsevier—an international scientific, technological, and medical journal based in the Netherlands—explains that the COVID virus itself could actually be responsible for infertility.

While research nailing down potential connections between COVID and infertility could be years away, O’Shea notes that research already shows how beneficial the vaccine can be for pregnant women and their babies. “We’ve even seen that vaccinated people’s COVID antibodies can be transferred to their babies and help their babies stay safer,” O’Shea said. “Even after they are born. We can say with great optimism now that this vaccine is safe and it’s effective.” 

As of late September, only 32% of pregnant women who are eligible to receive the vaccine have. O’Shea says that’s a concern, as pregnant women are more vulnerable than the general population to COVID. “The risk to pregnant women who get the COVID virus are significant,” she said. “They are more likely to end up in the ICU, they are more likely to need assistance breathing.”