Pregnant Women’s COVID-19 Vaccine May Protect Babies, Israeli Researchers Say


FILE PHOTO: A pregnant woman receives a vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, USA, February 11, 2021. REUTERS / Hannah Beier

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Pregnant women vaccinated against COVID-19 could pass protection on to their babies, according to a new study in Israel.

According to research conducted in February, antibodies were detected in the 20 women who received both doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine during their third trimester of pregnancy and in their newborns, by placental transfer.

“Our findings highlight that vaccinating pregnant women can provide maternal and neonatal protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the study said.

The findings of researchers from Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Medical Center were published this month on medRxiv, an online distribution service for unpublished research manuscripts that have not been peer-reviewed, and reported by Israeli media on Tuesday. .

The authors noted the small size of the study and said more research was needed to measure the effect of vaccination at different stages of pregnancy and the safety and efficacy of the different vaccines currently available.

One of the researchers, Dana Wolf, was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the group will now begin to look at how long the antibodies activated by the vaccines will last in babies.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said last month that they had begun an international study of 4,000 volunteers to evaluate the safety and efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine in healthy pregnant women.

The trial will also test whether vaccinated pregnant women transfer protective antibodies to their babies.

Another US study published last week and awaiting peer review found that antibodies induced in pregnant women from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, such as injections from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna Inc, were transferred to babies through the placenta or breast milk.

Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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