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New Study Says These COVID-19 Vaccines Work On Pregnant Women & Breastfeeding Mothers

“These vaccines seem to work incredibly effectively in these women.”

A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology offered some promising research on how pregnant women respond to the COVID-19 vaccine. Specifically, researchers found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both safe and effective for pregnant and lactating women. Additionally, mothers could pass antibodies on to their newborns.

To reach their findings, researchers looked at 131 women who had received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, 84 of whom were pregnant, 31 lactating, and 16 not pregnant. They collected samples from these women between December 2020 and March 2021 to check vaccine-induced antibody levels using the CDC’s V-safe COVID-19 vaccine tracker. After months of research, the team found that the immunity in pregnant women was considerably higher than those who were not pregnant.

The study, though it had a small sample size, also found that expectant mothers passed that immunity on to their babies as antibodies were present in breast milk and umbilical cord blood. As for side effects from the vaccine? Researchers found no evidence for increased risk of side effects for pregnant or lactating women. Researchers ultimately concluded in their study that the findings “[suggest] vaccination of pregnant and lactating women can confer robust maternal and neonatal immunity.”

"That's a very important piece of information to our patients," Dr. Andrea Edlow, co-author on the study, told ABC News. "We know that this vaccine works for you."

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Until now, there has not been a dearth of data regarding pregnant women and the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, however, researchers in Florida reported the first known baby being born with COVID-19 antibodies after the mother had been vaccinated. And, just weeks later, this study gives a more in-depth look at how pregnant women pass on those protective antibodies on to their newborn babies through breast milk and the placenta.

“These vaccines seem to work incredibly effectively in these women," Galit Alter, professor of medicine at the Ragon Institute and one of the researchers to take part in the study, told CNN. "Nearly all the moms were getting a pretty decent level of antibodies to their babies.” Alter admitted to the network that more research needs to be done as this was a small scale study, but certainly the results look promising for expectant moms, breastfeeding moms, and their babies.

Study referenced:

Gray, K. Bordt, E., Atyeo, C., Elovitz, M., Alter, G., Edlow, E.(2021) COVID-19 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study, American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology. https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(21)00187-3/fulltext

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.