The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that pregnant mothers who receive a Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy pass immunity protection to their babies.
According to Dr. Dana Meaney, CDC's Dr. Dana Delman, 61% less babies will be hospitalized for Covid if their mother has received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines while pregnant.
From July 1, 2021 to Jan. 17, 2021, researchers studied the newborns in 20 pediatric hospitals across 17 States.
According to the results, 84 percent of infants hospitalized with Covid were born to unvaccinated moms. This study examined 43 infants admitted into an ICU with Covid. It found that 88 per cent of them were born to mothers who had not been vaccinated prior to giving birth.
Meaney-Delman stated that "the bottom line is that maternal vaccine is a really important method to help protect these young ones," she told reporters.
She said that this is especially important considering the fact that shots for this group are still far off.
"Unfortunately vaccination of infants younger than 6 months old is not currently on the horizon, highlighting why vaccination during pregnancy is so important for these young infants," she said.Vaccines for other illnesses have similarly been shown to safely cross the placenta and give newborns protection, including the shots for flu and whooping cough.
Although Covid vaccines have been shown to pass antibodies to pregnant women, previous research has not proven that this is true. However, the new study shows real-world results.
Meaney-Delman stated that antibodies were found in umbilical cord blood. This indicates that antibodies may have passed from the pregnant woman to the infant. "And although we know that these antibodies cross over the placenta but this study has not yet provided data, we don't have enough data to show whether they might offer protection against Covid-19."
The CDC study didn't evaluate Johnson & Johnson vaccine's effects on newborns or booster shots during pregnancy.
However, Dr. Manish Ptel, the study's principal author, stated that the agency plans to collect and release data about boosters in the near future.
Patel stated that boosters increase protection and antibody levels. Therefore, it is likely that we will see greater protection than ever before with boosters.
Data also indicated that Covid hospitalizations were less likely in babies born to mothers who had their shots later in their pregnancy than in those whose mothers received their shots earlier in the gestation.
Meaney-Delman stated that the CDC will not change its recommendations to encourage women to get a booster or vaccine late in pregnancy. Pregnant women are at greater risk for severe illness due to a coronavirus virus infection. Recent research has also shown that the virus could attack and destroy the placenta leading to stillbirth.
Over 67% of pregnant women above 18 years old had received at least two doses (or one) of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. This is less than the share of the adult population at 74 percent.
The virus has claimed the lives of more than 926,000 Americans. According to the CDC , 68 per cent of those in that population are fully vaccinated.