With the rushed nature of COVID-19 vaccine development, research, and release, one demographic that has been eagerly awaiting more information on the efficacy of the injection is pregnant and lactating individuals. Because pregnancy is absolutely a medical condition that leaves a person vulnerable (and full of anxiety) even in the best of circumstances, the nature of a global pandemic and a respiratory illness that can be incredibly dangerous for mom and baby alone makes things worse.
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However, new research on the vaccine brings good news for pregnant people and those who love them. A new study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) on Thursday, found “strong humoral immunity” in pregnant and lactating people, comparable to what they were seeing in non-pregnant people. Similarly, the study also found evidence that vaccinated pregnant people transmitted antibodies and induced immunity in newborns. The researchers were also able to gain a little more information about the differences between immunity after the second doses of Pfizer and Moderna, and found that antibody levels after the second dose of Moderna were higher in pregnant and lactating people than in those of Pfizer.
According to the study: “Vaccine-induced immune responses were significantly greater than the response to natural infection. Immune transfer to newborns occurred through the placenta and breast milk. This study provides the first data from a large cohort on the generation of maternal antibodies in response to the COVID-19 vaccine, compares the immunity generated by the vaccine with that of natural infection during pregnancy, and suggests that vaccination of pregnant and Infants can confer strong maternal and neonatal immunity. . “
The president-elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Iffath Hoskins, told NBC News that the results of the study data were “very reassuring.”
“What this study shows us is that the mother has a strong response,” Hoskins said. “His body wakes up … making antibodies against the prod that just happened, which is the coronavirus vaccine.”
Galit Alter, co-lead author of the study, said the Harvard Gazette that the study offers “clear evidence that COVID vaccines can induce immunity that will protect babies” and adds that they hope these results will encourage vaccine developers to prioritize obtaining data on pregnant and lactating people and including them in trials they are often overlooked.
“The potential for rational vaccine design to drive better outcomes for mothers and babies is limitless, but developers must realize that pregnancy is a distinct immune state, in which two lives can be saved simultaneously with one powerful vaccine. ”Alter said. “We hope to study all vaccine platforms during pregnancy as they become available.”
Although much remains to be learned about the long-term effects of these vaccines, the more data we have on vulnerable demographics, the better equipped we will be to end the pandemic.
Before you go, check out our bed rest essentials for pregnant women: