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VERIFY: Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine could impact your menstrual cycle

Houston Methodist Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dirk Sostman answered your questions on the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

HOUSTON — Can the vaccine interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle? Can it cause infertility? These are just some of the questions sent to the VERIFY team about claims being made online about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Houston Methodist Chief Academic Officer Dr. Dirk Sostman responded.

CLAIM: You should get the second dose of the vaccine in the same arm as the first.

False. Sostman said, “There is no reason that you have to get the vaccine in the same arm or in a different arm. It really doesn't matter.”

CLAIM: If repeat vaccinations are necessary later, we will have to get two doses of it again for them to be effective.

Not known. Sostman said, “We don't know the answer to that one. The most likely scenario is that we'll need a booster shot every year for the next several years, just like with the flu shot.”

CLAIM: If you got two doses of the vaccine, you must also get the same brand if a booster is required in the future.

True. Sostman said, “The vaccines are designed in a particular way, and boosters will also be designed to capitalize on the vaccination you've already gotten.”

CLAIM: The vaccines can cause infertility in women.

False. Sostman said, “There's no evidence for that.”

CLAIM: The vaccine could impact a woman's menstrual cycle.

True. Sostman said, “Yes, that is possible. The menstrual cycle does involve inflammatory changes and the immune system and some parts of its mechanism."

CLAIM: A healthy 16-year-old should get the vaccine.

True. Sostman said, “I would say, yes. As we're seeing more and more older people get vaccinated, we're seeing more and more younger people end up in the hospital with COVID."

Click here for more on Dr. Dirk Sostman.