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.