Story by: Norton Healthcare on February 17, 2022
New research published Feb. 7 in JAMA gives patients even more reason to get vaccinated.
Infants born to vaccinated mothers were shown to have antibodies in their systems, offering a level of protection against COVID-19 that otherwise would not exist. These antibodies were higher in vaccinated mothers than those who’d had COVID-19. Children under age 5 are currently not eligible to receive a vaccine. Discussions are underway to grant an emergency use authorization that will make children ages 6 months to 5 years eligible to receive the vaccine produced by Pfizer. However, that still does not offer protection to younger infants.
Still more research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that babies born to a parent who had received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine were 60% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first six months.
“We know that the vaccine is safe during pregnancy, and knowing it offers protection for infants makes it a stronger case for patients to receive it,” said Maria R. Schweichler, M.D., an OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care. “This is something all pregnant patients should feel comfortable doing to protect their unborn child.”
Patients who get COVID-19 while pregnant have an increased risk of being admitted to intensive care, being placed on a ventilator and even death, compared with those without COVID-19 and those who are not pregnant but have COVID-19.
Additional research shows that infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 makes pregnant patients at greater risk for maternal death, infant growth restrictions, stillbirth or serious complications. It also increases the risk of preterm birth and of an infant needing care in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The placenta is a lifeline for an unborn baby. A new study in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine found that the placenta can be destroyed by COVID-19, causing stillbirth. The damage to the placenta deprived the infant of oxygen.
“During this pandemic, you can still have a healthy pregnancy,” Dr. Schweichler said. “You need to do everything you can to avoid getting COVID-19, including masking, distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.
One of the most important things to do, however, is get the COVID-19 vaccine. It will protect you from severe illness, reduce the risks of a severe complication in your pregnancy and even protect your unborn child.”
Pregnant patients can get the COVID-19 at their Norton Women’s Care obstetrician’s office.