- A study has found that vaccinated pregnant women pass on COVID antibodies
- Researchers at New York University studied 36 women who had mRNA vaccines
- All babies had antibodies protecting them from the coronavirus
A study has suggested that pregnant women who have had the COVID vaccine protect their unborn babies.
Researchers at New York University took blood samples from 36 babies given to mothers given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The results showed that all of them had antibodies fighting the coronavirus. The study found that the umbilical cord of mothers in the second half of pregnancy had the highest levels of antibodies in the blood.
Experts said the results were not as surprising as it is with other jabs.
But he stressed that the findings prove that vaccines have the ‘power to protect two people at once by preventing serious disease in both mothers and children’.
Dr Ashley Roman, an obstetrician at NYU and one of the lead authors, said: ‘If babies can be born with antibodies, it could protect them in their first months of life, when they are most vulnerable. ‘
Children face a small risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID, as shown by several studies since the pandemic began. But the risk is slightly higher in babies with weakened immune systems.
But data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that pregnant women in the UK are still hesitant to get a jab, with only 10 per cent coming forward for an appointment by the end of July – the most recent date the data is available for. .
This is despite women being eligible for the vaccine, just like the rest of their age group, since April.
A New York University study suggests that pregnant women who have been vaccinated against COVID pass on higher levels of antibodies to their babies.
The number is slightly higher in the US, where 23 percent of expectant mothers are vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).
While all studies to date have suggested that mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna are safe for pregnant women, there is no evidence to back up claims that they cause stillbirths or defects.
The latest NYU research was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine.
According to lead author Dr Jennifer Lighter, despite the low sample size ‘it is encouraging that women have higher levels of neonatal antibodies’ if they are vaccinated.
She said: ‘The high levels of transplacental antibody transfer are not surprising. This is in line with what we see with other vaccinations.
‘Our findings add to a growing list of important reasons why women should be advised to receive the COVID vaccine during pregnancy to provide significant protection for their newborn.
This comes amid a concerted effort by health chiefs to encourage pregnant women to come forward for a jab.
Serious illness due to COVID is uncommon in pregnant women, but it is more likely in the third trimester.
Some studies have shown that pregnant women who fall ill with the virus are two to three times more likely to give birth to a premature baby.
Women in the UK are advised to get Pfizer and Moderna vaccines because these vaccines have been given to more than 130,000 pregnant women in the US and the data have not raised any safety concerns.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at PHE, said: ‘It is encouraging that thousands of pregnant women have received the COVID vaccine.
‘We strongly urge anyone who has not yet taken the offer to receive both doses as soon as possible and pregnant women to proceed for a second dose eight weeks after their first dose.’
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said: ‘We are encouraged to see that more than 50,000 pregnant women in England have received a single dose of a COVID vaccine.
‘We recommend vaccination in pregnancy because it is the most effective way to protect women and their babies from serious illness and premature birth.
‘We are concerned that the rising rate of COVID infection will adversely affect pregnant women.’
Are COVID vaccines safe for pregnant women and how many have taken the jab?
How many pregnant women have been vaccinated against Kovid?
Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows pregnant women in the UK are still hesitant to get a jab, with only 10 per cent coming forward for an appointment by the end of July – the most recent date available for the data.
Some 51,724 pregnant women in England had received at least one dose, while 20,648 women had received two.
Is there any risk to the mother or the baby from taking Jab?
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women accept the offer of the Kovid vaccine.
All major studies show that pregnant women are just as safe as non-pregnant populations when it comes to pregnancy.
And no evidence that vaccines have any negative effects on unborn babies has been recorded in vaccinated mothers, with birth defects or spikes in stillbirths.
Data on safety among pregnant women at the start of the year was sparse, meaning they were not added to the list of people allowed to jab in England until April.
JCVI decided to wait for the data from the US to be filtered before making the call.
In early April, that data came in the form of a major study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It had tracked the status of more than 90,000 pregnant women who were vaccinated, most of them in their third trimester.
The CDC was able to report that there were no security concerns.
Since then, the number of pregnant American women who have been vaccinated has grown to more than 105,000. However, the finer data released from within that study sparked new concerns.
The CDC closely monitored more than 800 participants. Of that group, 712 had a live birth, while 115 had a pregnancy loss.