Doctor Debunks Nicki Minaj's Claim That COVID Vaccine Caused Man's Impotence

Nicki Minaj's claim that a family friend was rendered impotent after taking the COVID-19 vaccine has been debunked by a public health expert.

As fans enquired why the chart-topping rapper did not attend Monday's Met Gala, she explained that she would not be leaving her toddler son "to be seen."

She tweeted: "I have an infant with no nannies during COVID. who mad? Not risking his health to be seen. One yaself."

The "Anaconda" hitmaker then commented on the requirement for attendees at this year's Met Gala to be vaccinated ahead of the event.

"They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," she wrote on Twitter. "if I get vaccinated it won't for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research. I'm working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one."

The Trinidad-born star, real name Tanya Maraj, then sparked backlash when she followed up with a tweet about the purported side effects a family friend endured after taking the vaccine.

She wrote: "My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you're comfortable with ur decision, not bullied."

Nicki Minaj sparks controversy with vaccine comments
Nicki Minaj attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. The rapper has faced backlash after sharing an anecdote about a family friend who took the COVID-19 vaccine. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Minaj's tweet sparked a wave of criticism and memes from those questioning the veracity of the anecdote.

And Dr. Leana Wen has told People that impotency is not a known side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

"It is just not true that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is associated with infertility in either males or females," said Dr. Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.

"In fact, we know that there are actually consequences, if somebody gets COVID-19, in terms of the impact on the male reproductive system," she said, adding: "There have been studies that have linked scrotal discomfort and low sperm count to having COVID-19.

"In addition, there has been an association between scrotal swelling and congestion to having COVID-19. So, to emphasize, these are not associated with the vaccine but with the disease."

With Minaj's Twitter follower count currently standing at 22.6 million, Dr. Wen went on to address the dangers of influential public figures sharing misinformation at such a crucial time in the vaccination drive.

They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one 🙏♥️

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 13, 2021

"My concern is that there are already... more than 80 million Americans who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine," she added. "Many of these individuals have heard misinformation and disinformation about the vaccine and are understandably scared as a result.

"It is extremely harmful to them to have influential figures, including celebrities with a large social media following to perpetuate this information. In times of crisis, we need for everyone to be singing from the same songbook and that is the songbook of science and evidence."

Minaj, who also pulled out of Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, revealed in her stream of Twitter posts that she had contracted COVID-19 while shooting a music video.

However, while Minaj's tweets led to the widespread perception that she's anti-vax, the star revealed that she will likely be taking the vaccine herself in the future.

Responding to a fan who revealed they took the vaccine in order to continue working, she wrote: "I know babe. A lot of countries won't let ppl work w/o the vaccine. I'd def recommend they get the vaccine. They have to feed their families. I'm sure I'll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour, etc."

The mother-of-one also stated that "this is the norm" when a fan told her that the vaccine had kept them safe, before conducting a poll on which vaccine her followers had taken.

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Nicki Minaj for comment.

Rapper Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj poses in the Winners room during the MTV EMAs 2018 on November 4, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. The star has stated that she will likely take the COVID-19 vaccine. Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts