Study reveals no negative effect of SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 vaccination on male fertility

Researchers analyzed the sperm parameters of males undergoing fertility treatment and found no effect from the BNT162b2 mRNA severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine.  

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have started mass vaccination programs. These vaccines have been approved after several safety trials. However, their effect on fertility is still unknown. However, vaccination is still recommended for people who are planning to conceive.

Several studies have found a negative impact of SARS-CoV-2 on sperm parameters. In addition, the gonads may also be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem investigated the effect of the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine on male fertility and reported their results in a paper posted to the medRxiv* preprint server.

Study: BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 vaccine does not impair sperm parameters. Image Credit: Explode / Shutterstock
Study: BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 vaccine does not impair sperm parameters. Image Credit: Explode / Shutterstock

This news article was a review of a preliminary scientific report that had not undergone peer-review at the time of publication. Since its initial publication, the scientific report has now been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in a Scientific Journal. Links to the preliminary and peer-reviewed reports are available in the Sources section at the bottom of this article. View Sources

Sperm parameters don’t change after vaccination

The researchers collected data from all patients in an in vitro fertilization center between February and March 2021 after vaccination had begun in Israel. The team reviewed the medical records of 43 vaccinated male patients and compared the data before vaccination and after about an average of 33 days after the first dose of vaccination.

They found no difference in the various sperm parameters they analyzed, such as sperm volume and sperm concentration. The patients included those with male infertility and normosperm.

These initial results indicate no negative effect of mRNA vaccination on male fertility.

“Our study is the first to evaluate the impact of the BNT162b2 vaccine on sperm parameters. Each patient serving as its own control increased accuracy and demonstrated that this vaccine appeared to have no impact on sperm parameters. These preliminary results are reassuring to the young male population undergoing vaccination worldwide. Given that SARS-CoV-2 infection may impair male fertility, we recommend that couples desiring to conceive should vaccinate, as vaccination does not affect sperm, whereas SARS-CoV-2 infection does impair sperm,” write the authors.

This news article was a review of a preliminary scientific report that had not undergone peer-review at the time of publication. Since its initial publication, the scientific report has now been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in a Scientific Journal. Links to the preliminary and peer-reviewed reports are available in the Sources section at the bottom of this article. View Sources

Journal references:

Article Revisions

  • Apr 8 2023 - The preprint preliminary research paper that this article was based upon was accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed Scientific Journal. This article was edited accordingly to include a link to the final peer-reviewed paper, now shown in the sources section.
Lakshmi Supriya

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Lakshmi Supriya

Lakshmi Supriya got her BSc in Industrial Chemistry from IIT Kharagpur (India) and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech (USA).

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