Anti-vaxxers are using a doctor’s miscarriage to claim the COVID-19 vaccine affects pregnancy — but the doctor lost her baby before getting the shot
Anna Medaris Miller
Feb 10, 2021, 5:12 AM
- A Facebook post allegedly claimed the coronavirus vaccine caused an OB-GYN’s miscarriage.
- But the doctor suffered the loss before receiving the vaccine, according to her Instagram posts.
- Based on how it’s made and data so far, scientists say it’s likely the vaccine is safe in pregnancy.
When Dr. Michelle Rockwell woke up Sunday morning, just a couple months after suffering a pregnancy loss, she said she saw her photos plastered on social media claiming her miscarriage was caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.
Rockwell screenshotted the circulating post, which no longer appears to be visible.
Previously, Rockwell, an OB-GYN in Tulsa, had posted about her pregnancy loss on her account, @DoctorMommyMD, which has more than 26,000 followers. Separately, she had posted about her vaccination.
But the anti-vaxx post baselessly linked the two, despite the fact that Rockwell suffered the miscarriage before she received the vaccine, she wrote in a post Monday addressing the incident and misinformation on the internet more generally. .
“How soulless and predatory of someone to take someone’s heartbreak and modify it to further their own agenda,” she said. “Misinformation is spread so quickly because people don’t pause and think before hitting the share button.”
Insider talked to doctors about why the coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to raise the risk of miscarriage or other complications during pregnancy.
Rockwell posted about her miscarriage December 1 and her vaccine December 21
“We lost our sweet baby,” Rockwell, who has two kids, wrote on Instagram December 1. On December 21, she posted a selfie while getting the coronavirus vaccine. Rockwell posted again about her miscarriage on January 14, sharing a picture from before she underwent a D&C, a procedure to remove the pregnancy tissue.
“After she was gone, little baby clothes I excitedly bought still showed up to the house,” Rockwell wrote January 14. “I quietly packed them away. My heart is still so broken, but I found a strength in me I didn’t know existed.”
Whoever pulled Rockwell’s pictures overlooked this timeline.
“If anyone actually went to my IG and scrolled through my posts they would see I miscarried 3 weeks before receiving the vaccine,” Rockwell wrote Monday. “I had my D&C 2 days after the vaccine but my sweet baby was gone long before that.”
She used the experience to remind followers to be smart about information consumption and proliferation. She urged them to double-check if the information is correct, consider the source, take into account who is posting, question if something is too good to be true, and keep in mind how what you share affects others.
“Remember there is a human on the other side of the screen,” she wrote. “Who has feelings. Who feels heartache.”
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