AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Some say they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine because they fear it will cause infertility, but experts say there is no scientific evidence backing this claim.

“This concern or theory kind of emerged really early from a disgruntled employee from one of the vaccine manufacturers,” Chief Medical Officer at AU Health, Dr. Phillip Coule said.

Dr. Coule says the theory that the vaccine causes infertility is based on the similarity between the names of a protein found in the vaccine, and a different protein necessary for reproduction.

“The only similarity that they have, is that they share a similar name. They are not the same thing,” Dr. Coule said. “There is absolutely no scientific evidence linking any concern about vaccination and reproduction.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports, “Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and have no scientific evidence supporting them.”

Contracting COVID poses a great risk to reproductive health, according to Dr.Coule, and he encourages everyone who hopes to have children to get vaccinated.

“For people who are concerned about reproduction or the ability to have babies, or maybe contemplating pregnancy, I would strongly encourage them to get vaccinated as a way of protecting themselves and their baby,” Dr. Coule said.

For women who are pregnant, vaccination is recommended by the CDC and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

“Because the risks and the damage from hospitalizations or death that happens from COVID-19 does not exempt pregnant females,” AU Health’s Dr. Joshua Wyche said.

Experts say pregnant women who contract COVID are statistically more likely than non pregnant women to require a ventilator or care in the ICU.

“It is stark the difference in outcome between vaccinated women related to their pregnancy and unvaccinated women,” Dr. Coule said.