Science

Vaccinated pregnant women tend to pass COVID-19 antibodies to their babies, study reveals

Pregnant people who get mRNA vaccines pass high levels of antibodies to their babies, according to a study published in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine on Wednesday.

The study, which is one of the first to measure antibody levels in umbilical cord blood to distinguish whether immunity is from infection or vaccines found that 36 newborns tested at birth all had antibodies to protect against Covid-19 after their mothers were vaccinated with shots from Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc. 

Among the 36 samples the researchers looked at, 31 tested negative for antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein. The other five weren’t tested for nucleocapsid protein, so the researchers can’t conclusively say the immunity was from the vaccine or from natural infection. Given the study’s small sample size, the team is now looking at results from a larger group, as well as how long immunisation lasts for infants after birth.

The findings show “very encouraging levels of antibody in cord blood,” said Linda Eckert, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at the University of Washington who wasn’t involved in the study. “This is another reason pregnant women should get vaccinated, as we are seeing more disease in younger infants and this is a proactive choice pregnant individuals can make to protect their infants.”

“We didn’t anticipate that. We expected to see more variability,” said Ashley Roman, an obstetrician at NYU Langone Health System and co-author of the study. “We pushed this data out relatively early because it’s a unique finding and it has important implications for care,” Roman said. “Right now we’re recommending all pregnant women receive the vaccine for maternal benefit.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FORBES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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