Covid-19 Vaccines & Pregnancy:
A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were found to be safe and effective in pregnant and lactating women. Given the increased risk of complications of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy, it was imperative that pregnant and lactating women be allowed to be enrolled in vaccinations studies looking at safety and efficacy in this population of women. The study compared vaccine-generated immunity to immunity gained from natural infection with the virus. Pregnant women who received either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine showed a comparable immune response to the vaccine compared to non-pregnant patients (controls). In addition, those women that received either vaccine had higher antibody titers compared to those women who developed COVID-19 during pregnancy. And the best part is that those antibodies were present in breast milk and umbilical cord blood after vaccination. This is very important since newborn infants have a naive immune system at birth. The researchers found no increased risk of side effects of the vaccine in pregnant or lactating women, nor were the side effects more severe in this population. This is exciting news for pregnant and lactating women, and as always, patients should discuss the risks and benefits of any therapy with their healthcare provider.
Sources: Contemporary OB/GYN March 26, 2021