Infants of mothers who completed two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccines during pregnancy had a reduced risk of being hospitalized with Covid-19 in the first six months of their lives, a new study shows.
“The bottom line is that maternal vaccination is a really important way to help protect young infants. Today’s news is extremely welcome, especially given the recent increase in hospitalizations among very young children,” Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, chef. of infant findings monitoring the research and prevention department at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reporters told a news briefing Tuesday.
“Other diseases such as influenza and pertussis, vaccination during pregnancy provide protection for infants in the first six months of their lives, a period when infants are at high risk for serious illness but where they are not yet old enough to be vaccinated.” she added.
The study included data on 379 hospitalized infants younger than 6 months – 176 with Covid-19 and 203 without Covid-19, but hospitalized for other reasons – at 20 pediatric hospitals in 17 states between July last year and mid-January of this year . The mothers of the infants were asked about their Covid-19 vaccination history, including the number of completed doses, and whether a dose had been received during pregnancy.
The report showed that Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy reduced the risk of infant hospitalization with Covid-19 by 61%. The efficacy after completion of vaccination early in pregnancy was 32% and later in pregnancy was 80%.
“Most worryingly, they found that among babies with Covid-19 who were admitted to the intensive care unit, the sickest babies were 88% born to mothers who had not been vaccinated before or during pregnancy, and the one baby who died in the study was born to a mother who had not been vaccinated, “Meaney-Delman said in Tuesday’s briefing.
The researchers found that overall, 15.9% of mothers of infants with Covid-19 were vaccinated during pregnancy, compared with 32% of mothers of infants without Covid-19.
The data showed that 10.3% of mothers of infants with Covid-19 had been vaccinated early in pregnancy, and 5.7% were vaccinated at the end of pregnancy, compared with 15.9% of infants without Covid-19. vaccinated early in pregnancy and 21.6% in late pregnancy.
“When humans receive a Covid-19 vaccine mRNA during pregnancy, their bodies build up antibodies to protect against Covid-19, and these antibodies have been found in umbilical cord blood, indicating that the antibodies were transmitted from the pregnant to the developing infant. ” said Meaney-Delman.
The study did not include data on vaccine efficacy of booster shots or on mothers vaccinated before pregnancy.