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A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 9, 2021. (AP/Campodonico) A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 9, 2021. (AP/Campodonico)

A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 9, 2021. (AP/Campodonico)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher August 24, 2021

Claim about COVID-19 vaccines and miscarriages based on flawed reading of study

If Your Time is short

  • A claim made in a viral school board meeting video appears to parrot a false claim that manipulated the findings of a preliminary study.

  • There is no evidence to back the claim that 80% of COVID-19-vaccinated women miscarried during their first trimester of pregnancy.

  • A CDC analysis did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

A man who used a public meeting to make predictions of death and sterilization for people who have received COVID-19 vaccines also repeated an alarming claim about pregnancy risks.

"Eighty percent of women who have been jabbed have lost their children in the first trimester," the man declared at the Aug. 16 meeting of the Talawanda Board Board of Education in Oxford, Ohio, a college town 40 miles northwest of Cincinnati.

The man, who identified himself as "Sean Brooks, PhD," did not cite any evidence to back his statement.

A TikTok video of his comments was shared on Facebook. The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The man’s claim in the video repeats a claim that was widely shared on Instagram a month earlier, and which we rated False.

The Instagram post was based on a flawed interpretation of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The post made a conclusion based on a small sample of completed pregnancies known by researchers. The majority of study participants were either still pregnant, or had not yet had follow-ups with the paper’s authors.

We sent an email to an address listed for Brooks, asking for information to back his statement. The reply cited the study. 

Featured Fact-check

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: "There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines."

The CDC recommends the vaccines for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future, saying: "Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people."

The CDC announced Aug. 11 that its analysis of data from the agency’s V-safe pregnancy registry did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11% to 16% of pregnancies, and the study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%.

The registry collects health information from volunteers who received COVID-19 vaccines within 30 days before their last menstrual period or during pregnancy.

Our ruling

A video of a public meeting shows a man claiming that "80% of women who have been jabbed have lost their children in the first trimester."

The claim is based on an erroneous interpretation of a research study. 

Federal researchers have found no increased risk of miscarriage from receiving the COVID-19 vaccines.

We rate the claim False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post (1:50 of video), Aug. 21, 2021

TikTok, video, Aug. 21, 2021

YouTube, video (29:25) of Talawanda Board Board of Education meeting, Aug. 16, 2021 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "New CDC Data: COVID-19 Vaccination Safe for Pregnant People," Aug. 11, 2021

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Myths and Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines," Aug. 18, 2021

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding," Aug. 11, 2021

Heavy, "Dr. Sean Brooks: COVID-19 Vaccine Scare Video Goes Viral," Aug. 23, 2021

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

Claim about COVID-19 vaccines and miscarriages based on flawed reading of study

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