Israeli researchers have found elevated levels of antibodies in babies born to mothers vaccinated against COVID-19 during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The results of the prospective study, conducted by researchers at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, showed that the levels of anti-coronavirus antibodies in newborns were 2.6 times higher than those of their mothers, and sufficient to define the newborn as vaccinated. Overall, the research supported previous studies that pregnant women vaccinated against COVID-19 could pass protection to their babies, through the transfer of placental antibodies.
“The administration of the vaccine against the coronavirus during the second trimester of pregnancy resulted in a strong immune response in the mother and the newborn, which is expressed by high levels of antibodies at the time of birth”, said lead researcher Dr Nir Kugelman of the obstetrics department. and Gynecology from the Carmel Medical Center. “These results support the provision of the coronavirus vaccine in the early stages of pregnancy to achieve protection against the virus for the mother and newborn as soon as possible during the pandemic.”
Previous research by Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and other studies elsewhere found that the COVID-19 vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy elicited an immune response in the mother with transmission of antibodies to the newborn. -not.
Based on a cohort of 130 pregnant women who were not known to be previously infected with the virus and who received the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine during their second trimester, the study recorded antibody titers maternal and even higher rates in newborns. This suggests that early vaccination during pregnancy, rather than the third trimester, further enhances maternal protection and newborn safety, the researchers said.
The study measured antibody levels in maternal blood during childbirth. In addition, the newborn’s umbilical cord blood was collected immediately after birth.
Ideally, vaccinating pregnant women should lead to protection for as long as possible, the researchers said, calling for vaccinations earlier in pregnancy.
“The coronavirus can cause serious respiratory illness in pregnant women, as well as complications during pregnancy and childbirth,” said Professor Ofer Lavie, head of the gynecological oncology and surgery unit at Carmel Medical Center . “We know that the coronavirus vaccine elicits an immune response in pregnant women similar to those seen in non-pregnant women. Plus, getting vaccinated during pregnancy has been shown to significantly reduce your risk of contracting the virus. “
The results from researchers at Carmel Medical Center were featured last month in JAMA Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed monthly medical journal published by the American Medical Association.