In one of the first studies conducted in the world, it has been found that pregnant women who have been vaccinated with mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), pass high levels of antibodies to their babies.
The study revealed that as many as 36 newborns tested at birth had antibodies against Covid-19 after their mothers were vaccinated by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna doses. For the study, antibody levels were measured in the umbilical cord blood of the women whilst they were pregnant to differentiate if the presence was from past infection or vaccines.
"We didn't anticipate that. We expected to see more variability," NYU Langone Health System obstetrician and co-author of the study, Ashley Roman said.
The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine, on Wednesday.
How will the study help?
Data from September 11 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that only 30 per cent of women aged between 18 and 49 are vaccinated against Covid-19 in the US, despite various studies stressing on prenatal vaccine safety.
Since the study had a small subjects' group, the research team is now looking at results from a bigger sample group and the longevity of the immunisation among newborns.
"We pushed this data out relatively early because it's a unique finding and it has important implications for care," Roman said, adding that as of now the research team urges all expecting mothers to get jabbed for maternal benefits.
What did the study find?
For the research, the team studied blood from the umbilical cord of 36 pregnant women to specifically look for two elements – first, antibodies to spike protein that appears post-vaccination or contracting Covid-19; and second, antibodies to spike nucleocapsid protein that is solely present after getting coronavirus.
It was found that a total of 31 samples of pregnant women tested negative for nucleocaspid protein – meaning they developed immunity from vaccination. The remaining five expecting mothers were not tested for the nucleocaspid protein – thus, ceasing the researchers from ascertaining if the antibodies' presence was from vaccination or infection.
What does the CDC say about pregnant women getting jabbed with Covid-19 vaccines?
According to the latest findings shared by the CDC, coronavirus vaccines are safe for pregnant and lactating women. The data shows that studies of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines on pregnant animals didn't find any safety concerns.
The US government agency also highlights that Covid-19 vaccines do not cause infection, including in pregnant women and/or their babies. In fact, it says that as per early data, inoculating a pregnant woman with coronavirus vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the infection among them.