01/4COVID-19 vaccination: Can pregnant women pass the protection to newborns?
As per a new study, women who have got the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can pass on high levels of antibodies to their unborn babies. The findings of the study were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM.
The study was done to evaluate the effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The effectiveness of these two vaccines lies in their ability to trigger the production of the right antibodies, blood proteins capable of protecting individuals from infection.
For the study, 36 newborns whose mothers received either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy were studied. It was found that 100 per cent of the infants had protective antibodies at the time of birth.
Antibodies can be produced in two ways either as a part of a natural response to the infection or triggered by vaccines. The team was able to tell the difference in the antibodies in neonatal blood that was created in response to natural infection from those made in response to the vaccines. The result was relevant because natural antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are not sufficiently protective for many people.
03/4Data from CDC
The recent data from the Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that just 23 per cent of pregnant women have been vaccinated despite growing evidence of prenatal vaccine safety.
As per the study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study authors observed the highest levels of antibodies in the cord blood of mothers who were fully vaccinated during the second half of their pregnancies. The study provides insight evidence of transferred immunity to neonates, which correlated to protection against infection for infants during the first few months of their life.
The study emphasizes the importance of vaccination for pregnant women and their power to protect two lives at once.
When babies are born with antibodies, it could protect them during the first several months of their lives, when they are most vulnerable.
There was no increased risk found during pregnancy, birth complications and other risks associated with fetus among those who received the vaccine.
All the 36 samples collected have high levels of anti-S-IgG. Of the samples, 31 were tested negative for anti-N-IgG.
Additional studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of the infant antibody, how long the protection will last and if getting vaccinated at a particular time during pregnancy can provide higher levels of antibody transfer than vaccination given earlier during pregnancy.