COVID 19 Vaccine Fertility Focus Group

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Summary of report content

Anecdotally, Healthwatch Cheshire have been hearing that there could be an issue amongst young women in regard to getting the COVID-19 vaccination due to concerns about how it may affect fertility. In partnership with NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Healthwatch Cheshire hosted a focus group to have an informal conversation with young women about their views and the views of their wider social circle on the vaccine, potential concerns, and what they think about messaging and effectives sources of information.

Key themes that emerged from the focus group were:

  • Feeling that the COVID vaccine would help us return to “normal”.
  • Worries about long-term health risks of having the vaccine when pregnant, on both mother and baby.
  • Trust in scientists, believing they wouldn’t have passed the vaccine if they thought it would cause fertility issues.
  • Feedback of mixed messages, propaganda, scare stories. Articles with advice can be very wordy and complex to get your head around in order for people to make an informed decision. The media has played a role in providing confusion rather than clarity.

Feedback from an NHS Doctor in attendance highlighted that there is no reason the believe the vaccine will affect fertility, and that the risk of COVID19 is worse than the vaccine.

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General details

Report title 
COVID 19 Vaccine Fertility Focus Group
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 16 March, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 16 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 16 March, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Health protection
Information providing
Medication

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
NHS Cheshire CCG
Primary research method used 
Focus group

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Maternity
Pharmacy
Community services 
Other

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
Pregnant

Details of people who shared their views

Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Doctors
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.