A post advising women not to take the COVID-19 vaccine before and after five days of their menstrual cycle is being shared across social media platforms. Also, in support of the argument, the post claims that dosage of vaccine would first decrease immunity and later builds immunity, which poses a high risk of attack for one who gets vaccinated during their periods. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Women should not take the COVID-19 vaccine before and after five days of their periods.
Fact: Ministry of Health & Family welfare did not mention anything regarding the vaccination of women during their menstrual cycle under the contraindications (conditions that suggest one should not take the vaccine) section, which implies women can get vaccinated during their periods. None of the health agencies like WHO, CDC, ICMR suggested that menstruating women should not take the COVID-19 vaccine. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Ministry of Health & Family welfare did not mention any such scenario stating that menstruating women should avoid taking vaccine before and after five days of the beginning of their menstruation cycle or for that matter during any day of their menstruation cycle, under the contraindications (conditions that suggest one should not take the vaccine) section regarding the vaccination guidelines. This advisory advises pregnant & lactating women to not take the vaccine. However, there is no such mention regarding menstruating women as far as the COVID-19 vaccination is considered.
International health agencies like World Health Organization (WHO) and America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also did not mention anything like menstruating women should avoid taking the vaccine for a certain period of time in their advisory regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. Even the ICMR did not issue any such advisory regarding vaccination as far as menstruating women is concerned.
Even the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, developers of ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’, which are the only two vaccines being administered to Indians currently did not mention any contraindication that talks about women during their periods. Their fact-sheets released for these vaccines do not contain any such information. This implies that menstruating women can safely get vaccinated at any point of time during their periods.
When the same news regarding vaccination of women during their periods went viral, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) through a tweet has categorically stated that the news is fake and everyone above 18 should get vaccinated after 01 May 2021.
When a Twitter user tweeted the same image asking for clarification regarding the information, Dr. Tanaya, Sexual Health Influencer of the year 2020 replied stating that the information is not true, and it is safe to take the vaccine during periods.
When similar claims linking the menstrual cycle to vaccination went viral on social media in other countries, verywellhealth wrote a fact-check in consultation with doctors. In this fact-check, it is categorically mentioned that menstruation is not a contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination. Another fact-check article related to the same topic can be read here.
The New York Times reported Alice Lu-Culligan and Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein at Yale School of Medicine stating that “So far, there is no data linking the vaccines to changes in menstruation” when some people have reported changes to their periods and wondered if they were linked to the vaccine.
If at all taking vaccine during periods would pose a risk, the government & all the related agencies would have issued an advisory in this regard. However, we could not find any such advisory or even for that matter any report in any credible journal or by a news organization advising women to not take the vaccine during their periods. All these imply that women can safely get vaccinated at any time during their periods.
To sum it up, there is no such contraindication advising women not to take the COVID-19 vaccine during their periods.
The story first appeared here