Rich Fury/Getty; Gary Gershoff/WireImage Cedric the Entertainer, Nicki Minaj
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards host joked about Minaj's claims that her cousin's friend got swollen testicles from the vaccine, an assertion that both doctors and health officials have debunked as false.
"We're all vaxxed. You had to get vaxxed to come here," Cedric said. "I got vaxxed. I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend, okay? I got Pfizer, you know what I'm saying? Because I'm bougie. That's the Neiman Marcus of vaccines."
The comedian went on to compare the other vaccines to department stores saying, "Moderna, that's Macy's. Johnson & Johnson, that's TJ Maxx."
On Monday, ahead of this week's Met Gala, Minaj revealed she would not be attending the event after failing to meet the vaccination requirement needed to attend.
"They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," she tweeted. "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"
She followed up the tweet by sharing a story about a family member's friend who she claimed "became impotent" after getting vaccinated.
"My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen," she wrote. "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."
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Public health expert Dr. Leana Wen told PEOPLE this week impotency is not a known side effect of any COVID-19 vaccine that is currently authorized 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," Dr. Wen, who is an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told PEOPLE.
"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."
Dr. Wen also noted the risks associated with influential figures spreading misinformation about the potential side effects of the COVID-19, instead of relying on scientific evidence.
"My concern is that there are already… more than 80 million Americans who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine," the author of Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health told PEOPLE.
Anthony Harvey/Getty Nicki Minaj
"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 also revealed Monday that she had contracted COVID-19 while working on a music video shoot.
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In response to one fan who said they had received the vaccine for their job, the rapper 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."
Dr. Wen told PEOPLE that Minaj, as well as anyone who contracts COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine, can get their first dose as soon as their symptoms subside.
The 73rd Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, are airing live from 8-11 p.m. ET on CBS.
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