My Patients Ask — What’s the latest on the COVID vaccine and pregnancy or breastfeeding?

According to an article in HealthDay News, there is some very good news to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

New research shows that pregnant women and breastfeeding moms have a strong immune response to COVID vaccines and can transfer that immunity to their infants

The study, involving 131 women of reproductive age, 84 of them pregnant, who had received an mRNA vaccine either from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna found that pregnant and breastfeeding individuals had strong immune responses to vaccination and that the antibodies can be passed on to their infants.

In addition, the antibody levels triggered by vaccination were much higher than levels induced by natural infection with COVID in pregnancy, the researchers said.

“This news of excellent vaccine efficacy is very encouraging for pregnant and breastfeeding women who were left out of the initial COVID-19 vaccine trials,” said study co-senior author Dr. Andrea Edlow, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The researchers also found that levels of mucosal (IgA) antibodies were higher after the second dose of Moderna compared to the second dose of Pfizer.

This finding is important for all individuals since COVID is acquired through mucosal surfaces like the nose, mouth, and eyes. But it also holds special importance for pregnant and lactating women because IgA is a key antibody present in breast milk.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.



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