KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 – Babies of mothers who were inoculated with mRNA vaccines during pregnancy are less likely to be hospitalised for Covid-19, according to a real-world study by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Guardian reported last Wednesday that the infants of mothers who received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines while pregnant were 61 per cent less likely to be hospitalised for Covid-19 in the first six months of their life.
“The data CDC is publishing today provides real-world evidence that getting a Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy might help protect infants less than six months of age from hospitalisation due to Covid-19,” Dr Dana Meaney-Delman, the CDC’s chief of infant outcomes monitoring research and prevention branch, was quoted telling a press briefing.
“When people receive an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy, their bodies build antibodies to protect against Covid-19 and these antibodies have been found in umbilical cord blood, indicating that the antibodies have transferred from the pregnant person to the developing infant.
“And while we know that these antibodies cross the placenta, until this study, we have not yet had data to demonstrate whether these antibodies might provide protection for the baby against Covid-19.”
While the study found that Covid-19 vaccines were 61 per cent effective overall at preventing hospitalisations in babies whose mothers were inoculated during pregnancy, vaccine efficacy rose to 80 per cent when the mothers were vaccinated after 21 weeks to 14 days before delivery.
Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation declined to 32 per cent for babies whose mothers were vaccinated earlier during their pregnancy.
Dr Meaney-Delman reportedly said 84 per cent of babies who were hospitalised with Covid-19 were born to women who were not inoculated during pregnancy.
Among babies who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for the coronavirus, 88 per cent were born to mothers who were not vaccinated against Covid-19 before or during pregnancy. The one baby who died in the study was born to an unvaccinated mother.
The CDC study looked at 379 hospitalised babies: 176 with Covid-19 and 203 who were admitted for other health issues. The research was undertaken between July 2021 and January 2022.