What is it about?

Pregnant people are at higher risk of developing severe infections, increasing the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In turn, vaccinating a pregnant person can also affect their future baby’s immunity. When a person receives a vaccine, their body begins to create particles called “antibodies.” Antibodies help the body fight against future infections. In pregnant people, these antibodies can potentially be transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord, a tube that connects the pregnant person and the baby inside them. In this study, the authors found that COVID-19 vaccination led to the presence of antibodies in the umbilical cord. This was true for people who received the vaccination before becoming pregnant, as well as during pregnancy.

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Why is it important?

Most vaccines are well-studied. But there is little information regarding how vaccines affect pregnant people and their babies. This study gives us important insights related to this. The level of antibodies present in the umbilical cord can also tell us about the immunity of the newborn baby. Babies are usually not vaccinated as soon as they are born. If we know more about their immunity, we can better plan when to vaccinate them. KEY TAKEAWAY: Getting vaccination before or during pregnancy can confer some amount of immunity to the newborn baby. More information on this can help us better plan when to vaccinate pregnant people and their babies.

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This page is a summary of: Association of Gestational Age at Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination, History of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection, and a Vaccine Booster Dose With Maternal and Umbilical Cord Antibody Levels at Delivery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 2021, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/aog.0000000000004693.
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