Younger people refusing Covid vaccines by infertility fears, hospital boss warns

Hospital bosses have raised concerns that younger people are refusing Covid vaccines due to fears they could cause infertility.

LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 25/01/2021 - The Telford International Centre has opened up as a Large Vaccination Site, here for Health and Social workers to begin with..
LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 25/01/2021 - The Telford International Centre has opened up as a Large Vaccination Site, here for Health and Social workers to begin with..

The claims were made during the latest board meeting of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell General hospital in West Bromwich.

An update of the NHS trust's coronavirus vaccination progress with staff members was given by Melanie Roberts, who is the acting chief nurse.

She said: "We have about 70 per cent of our staff vaccinated. The split is about 39 per cent of our BAME [black and minority ethnic] colleagues, 48 per cent white British and the rest are unknown ethnicity at this point."

But questioning those figures, Harjinder Kang, who is a non-executive director at the NHS trust, said: "There seems to be some degree of evidence that the younger community are hesitant because of all sorts of misinformation.

Harjinder Kang

"Whether it is the ability to have children, for example, and nursing populations have been shown to believe some of this.

"I am wondering what are we doing about this, and what is causing the hesitancy in certainly the BAME community."

Ms Roberts said question-and-answer sessions have been held for members of the community around vaccinations.

She said one session at the end of March resulted in 561 staff and patients "coming forward for the vaccine".

Melanie Roberts

"For our younger population, it is about fertility and pregnancy. That has been a big issue," she added.

Ms Roberts added: "We are going to meet next week actually to talk about the vaccine and the next steps for our 25 to 30 per cent of staff that, still, we would like to see vaccinated."

She also said that there are plans for a hospital hub to administer 500 vaccines for staff and patients at the end of June.

The latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility.

The vaccine cannot give Covid-19 to expectant mothers or their babies.

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