Monday night on Twitter, pop star Nicki Minaj announced that she would not attend this year’s Met Gala because the event was only open to people who have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus. She didn’t rule out ever getting vaccinated, but insisted she would not do so just to attend the Gala. Then, in a spectacularly bizarre follow-up tweet, Minaj suggested a COVID vaccine may have caused swollen testicles and impotence for a friend of her cousin’s in Trinidad, allegedly prompting that cousin’s friend’s fiancée to call off their upcoming wedding. This stunning twist came as a shock; the bloated attention and ridicule the tweets have subsequently received has not.
But to be clear: The available COVID vaccines do not cause swollen testicles, impotence, and/or infertility. We know this because COVID vaccines have been administered globally to billions of people, many of whom have testicles, and there have been no reports of testicle swelling as even an extremely rare side effect — and there definitely would be if that were actually happening on even a minor scale.
In addition, the false fear-mongering claim that COVID vaccines cause infertility is hardly new. But there is no evidence that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus affects fertility for women or men. (Twitter said in a statement on Monday night, however, that Minaj’s tweets were not in violation of the social media platform’s rules.)
Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s vaccinated friend should probably seek medical attention to determine what has actually caused his symptoms. Hopefully he’ll get well (and find love again) soon.
This post has been updated.