According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mothers who get vaccinated against Covid-19 while pregnant are more likely to protect their babies from being admitted to the hospital after birth due to the virus when they are born.
Babies younger than 6 months old were 61 percent less likely to be hospitalized with Covid if their mothers received Pfizer or Moderna’s two-dose vaccine during pregnancy, a study published Tuesday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found.
The use of maternal vaccination later in pregnancy, between 21 weeks and 14 days before delivery, was associated with an even higher level of protection for the baby against Covid hospitalization, resulting in an 80 percent protection rate.
“The findings of this study suggest that antibodies transferred from the mother to her developing fetus protect the newborn against Covid,” says Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s infant outcomes branch.
As Meaney-Delman explained during a conference call on Tuesday, vaccination of infants younger than 6 months old are not currently on the table. “This underscores why vaccination during pregnancy is so important for these young infants,” she said on the call.
Previous research, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has found the mother’s antibodies from the Covid vaccine are transferred across the placenta to the developing fetus.
The CDC study provides some real-world evidence that antibodies are protective in newborn infants, despite the fact that the study was conducted in the laboratory.
A total of 84 percent of infants hospitalized with Covid in the study were born to mothers who had not been vaccinated, according to the findings. From July to January, the researchers examined 379 infants at 20 children’s hospitals in 17 states, a total of 379 babies.
The infants were split between two groups, 176 who had Covid and 203 who didn’t have it. Sixteen percent of the Covid positive infants’ mothers were fully vaccinated while 32 percent of the Covid negative infants’ mothers were fully vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study had some limitations. Before or during pregnancy, there was no testing to determine whether the mothers were Covid positive or negative.
There was also no testing to determine whether the vaccine was effective against specific variants. It is also unclear whether any other differences in behavior between mothers who were vaccinated and mothers who were not vaccinated contributed to the risk of infection for their newborns.
Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should get vaccinated against Covid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are currently or have recently been pregnant are at increased risk of developing a severe illness from Covid.