The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines had been found to be effective in lactating, and pregnant women, who could pass protective antibodies to newborns, research published Thursday in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology had shown, CNN reported.
Study Finds Covid-19 Vaccines Safe For Pregnant And Lactating Women And Their New Borns.
The study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard looked at 131 women who had been administered either the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Of the participants, 31 were lactating, 84 were pregnant, and 16 were not pregnant. The collection of samples was done between December 17, 2020, and March 2, 2021
Antibody levels induced by the vaccine were equivalent in pregnant and lactating women against non-pregnant women. The team further noted that the levels were strikingly higher than the coronavirus infection levels in pregnant women.
According to one of the researchers, Gallet Alter, a professor of medicine at the Ragon Institute, the vaccines seemed to work incredibly effectively in the women.
The researchers further observed that the women passed protective antibodies to their newborns, measured in the placenta and breast milk.
Alter said nearly all the mothers were passing on a fair level of antibodies to their babies. He added that additional research was needed to understand how long the protective antibodies lasted in newborns.
The V- safe tool of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed participants that had received a COVID-19 vaccine to track their reaction. According to Alter, no evidence of more intense or more side effects was found in lactating and pregnant women than in the general population.
While the researchers found similar levels of antibodies in women vaccinated with both vaccines, according to Alter, higher levels of IgA antibodies were seen in pregnant women who had been administered the Moderna vaccine. She added that this particular antibody might be transferred more efficiently to babies for a longer time.
Alter noted that there was some reason to think that having higher levels of IgA immunity might afford greater protection. She added policy decisions as regards the vaccines to be used for pregnant populations could benefit from additional research into this finding.
In recent research, it had been similarly shown that mRNA vaccines elicited antibodies in pregnant women that could be transferred to their babies. However, this was the largest study on vaccines in pregnant women to date. In initial clinical trials of the vaccines, lactating and pregnant women were not included in the vaccines’ initial clinical trials.
With no data for pregnant women to turn to for help in decisions about getting vaccinated against Covid-19, Alter added, new and expectant mothers, along with researchers, especially health care workers, stepped into leading the effort.
Alter said Brigham and MGH started talking with health care workers who were pregnant and also eligible for vaccination and created a study aimed at empowering pregnant women to help track their responses and to also develop data to shape the approach of communities across the globe to pregnancy and vaccination for the first time in this way.
According to Alter, it was really only a force to be reckoned with, both from the OB-GYN/provider perspective and also from the community. She added it was inspiring.
According to the CDC, Covid-19 infection, pregnant people placed them at an increased risk for severe illness as also increased risk for adverse outcomes, including preterm birth. The CDC added it hoped to study 13,000 pregnant people for the three authorized coronavirus vaccines’ safety. The agency would use a specific V-safe pregnancy registry, in which 3,612 pregnant women had registered, as of March 22.