The new CDC study found that infants of mothers who received two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines while pregnant are 60% less likely to be hospitalized due to Covid-19
Study after study has shown that getting a Covid-19 vaccine while pregnant is completely safe, passes on protections from the virus to the newborn, and helps reduce the risk of pregnancy complications related to the virus. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the chances a baby 6 months or younger has to be hospitalized due to Covid-19 are 61% lower if the mother received the vaccine while pregnant — as if you needed another reason to get vaccinated while pregnant.
The study found that a vaccinated mother’s antibodies have been found in umbilical cord blood, passing protections to the developing infant. In order to conduct the study, researchers included data from 379 hospitalized infants 6 months old or younger — 176 had Covid-19, and 203 did not have Covid but were hospitalized for other reasons. The data was collected from 20 pediatric hospitals in 17 states over the course of July 2021 through mid-January 2022.
The study also found a correlation between the level of protections and at what point during the pregnancy the mom was vaccinated
Protections appeared to be higher for the infants of those who received the vaccine later in their pregnancy. Pregnant people who completed the vaccination process earlier in pregnancy was 32%, and later in pregnancy was 80%.
But don’t get it twisted: maternal vaccination at any point of pregnancy is critical. The CDC recommends Covid-19 vaccination for “persons who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future, to protect them from COVID-19.”
It’s also worth noting that the CDC recommends getting a booster six months after completing the initial round of vaccination. While this study didn’t directly look at boosters’ efficacy on protecting infants, given that the booster is another dose of the vaccine, it would seem as if this would help increase protections against Covid complications for the infant if the mother received the initial vaccine doses earlier in pregnancy and the booster later.
“The bottom line is that maternal vaccination is a really important way to help protect these young infants. Today’s news is highly welcome, particularly in the backdrop of the recent increase in hospitalizations among very young children,” Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, chief of infant outcomes monitoring research and prevention branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news briefing the day the CDC released the report.
“Most concerning, they found that among babies with Covid-19, who were admitted to the ICU, the sickest babies, 88% were born to mothers who were not vaccinated before or during pregnancy, and the one baby who died in the study was born to a mother who was not vaccinated,” Meaney-Delman also mentioned during the press briefing.