False: COVID-19 vaccines were designed to sterilize the population in a manner foretold by the plot of the TV series Utopia.

By: Sam Doak
October 14 2022

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False: COVID-19 vaccines were designed to sterilize the population in a manner foretold by the plot of the TV series Utopia.


The Verdict False

There is no evidence to support the claim that COVID-19 vaccines negatively affect fertility.

Claim ID cdd3f01c


Since the release of COVID-19 vaccines, many unfounded claims have been circulated alleging hidden side effects and ulterior motives on the part of their creators. An emerging narrative in this vein states these vaccines were designed to sterilize the population. 

Users on Facebook have pointed out that this narrative is notably similar to the plot of the TV show Utopia. Originally released in 2013, the plot of Utopia centers around a group of characters that uncover a conspiracy involving a concocted virus and a vaccine designed to prevent human reproduction. The American remake of this program initially aired in September 2020, a relatively short time before COVID-19 spread rapidly around the world. 

In fact

While the timing of Utopia's release was coincidental, given the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no evidence that its central plot corresponds closely to real-world events.  

While individuals have raised concerns about COVID-19 vaccines and their effects on fertility throughout the pandemic, all available evidence suggests that such fears are unfounded. A study funded by the American National Institutes of Health examined over 2,000 couples and found no notable difference in the ability of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to conceive. According to the study's authors, their findings further suggested that infection with COVID-19 could affect male fertility, but only temporarily. 

The similarities between the plot of Utopia and events during the pandemic have been previously commented upon by the U.S. program's showrunner, Gillian Flynn. Speaking to the New York Times in 2020, Flynn stated, "I did have moments where I kind of had a stomach lurch, especially as the anti-vaxxer movement gained steam, and here I was writing a story where there is something bad with a vaccine. Obviously, it’s because of a bad human being who is clearly out of his mind, as far as his zealotry. If people watching this show take medical advice from John Cusack, something’s gone horribly wrong. Don't do that. This is fiction."

The verdict

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility. Utopia is a work of fiction and does not accurately reflect real-world events. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

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