Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care deputy minister, John Mangwiro said the coronavirus has the potential to cause infertility and loss of sex drive among both men and women, contrary to unfounded claims that life-saving vaccines were causing these side effects.
He made the remarks of Wednesday while addressing journalists attending a two-day HIV/Aids workshop in Chinhoyi. NewZimbabwe.com quotes him as saying:
There are always prophets of doom who talk of COVID-19 vaccines as the ones that cause infertility and loss of libido. Vaccine is dead virus and it doesn’t cause these problems.
It is, in fact, the disease that can hit the ovaries in women, and in men it affects the testicles and cause infertility. The virus gives strokes, heart failure, it can eat your lungs and your liver.
He also indicated that the potent COVID-19 virus, and not the life-saving vaccines, could also result in acute renal failure, and sufferers end up needing dialysis treatment.
Mangwiro appealed to the media to clear myths, misinformation, disinformation and fake news about vaccines as the country pushes to attain 60% herd immunity by December 31, 2021.
His remarks are consistent with the findings of research that was conducted in Israel last year. The Jerusalem Post, reported that the study published in the journal of Fertility and Sterility had concluded that COVID-19 could cause male infertility by damaging testicular cells that produce sperms.
Researchers in Israel, where the research was conducted, claimed that sperm motility — or its ability to move by itself — was also hampered while sperm counts of infected men halved 30 days after they were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Professor Allan Pacey, an andrologist at the University of Sheffield and former chair of the British Fertility Society told MailOnline he wouldn’t be surprised if coronavirus caused a temporary drop in sperm production. He said:
People who get coronavirus are probably quite unwell, even influenza will cause a decline in sperm count temporarily.
The question is whether it is permanent and whether it is recoverable.
Early this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) dismissed reports that suggested that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility in both women and men saying they are mere conspiracy theories and false unscientific claims.