Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are effective in pregnant women, boosting their immune responses and even transmitting protective antibodies to their babies, a new study found ahead of print.
The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, looked at 131 women who received one of the two vaccines between December and March. Eighty-four were pregnant and 31 were lactating.
Researchers from centers such as Harvard, MIT, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that pregnant and lactating women had as strong an immune response to vaccines as the 16 women who were not pregnant or nursing.
In addition, they found that vaccines were much better than exposure to the coronavirus at giving secondary antibodies to babies. By analyzing umbilical cord blood and placenta, they found that babies born to women who had received the vaccine had “surprisingly higher” levels of COVID-fighting antibodies than babies born to women who had previously had COVID-19, they wrote. researchers.
Research supports vaccination of pregnant women.
The study adds to a growing body of research indicating that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a good idea for pregnant people. In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were no adverse results in its study of 30,000 vaccinated pregnant women in the United States.
Pregnant people were not included in clinical trials studying any of the COVID-19 vaccines. So when US regulators authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine in early December (from Pfizer and BioNTech), health officials said it was a decision pregnant women should make with their doctor.
As research increases, decision-making becomes easier for pregnant people and obstetricians and gynecologists, Dr. Andrea Edlow, an expert in maternal-fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a co-author of the study.
“This study is one piece of the puzzle that is essential in trying to provide evidence-based vaccine advice to pregnant and lactating women,” Edlow said.
What we know about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines during pregnancy
Studies are being conducted in real-world and clinical trial settings as more and more pregnant people choose to get vaccinated.
Pending those data, the CDC has noted that studies in pregnant animals found no safety concerns related to receiving mRNA vaccines such as COVID-19 injections from Pfizer and Moderna.
There has been a lot of misinformation about mRNA vaccines, which use messenger RNA to train the body to recognize the virus and generate an immune response.
Anti-vaccine activists like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have promoted the myth that the vaccine interferes with DNA, a physiological impossibility, since vaccines do not enter your genetic material.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued an advisory to pregnant and lactating people debunking this myth. “These vaccines do not enter the nucleus and do not alter human DNA in vaccine recipients. As a result, mRNA vaccines cannot cause any genetic changes,” he said.
Based on the performance of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, “there should be very little risk to a developing baby,” Dr. Jessica Madden, a pediatrician and neonatologist who serves as Aeroflow Breastpumps’ chief medical officer, previously told Insider.
What we know about the J&J vaccine for pregnant women
Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was licensed a month after the Moderna and Pfizer injections, uses a different technology that has been extensively tested in pregnant people.
A large study of pregnant people who received a similar Ebola vaccine found no safety concerns.
Vaccines seem to protect babies too
A small peer-reviewed study in January found that pregnant women vaccinated against COVID-19 transmitted antibodies to their unborn babies.
In February, researchers said that a baby born to a woman who had received only one of two Moderna injections had tested positive for protective antibodies.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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