Vaccines against COVID-19 during pregnancy can protect infants after birth and lead to fewer hospitalized infants, according to a U.S. government study released Tuesday.

The study is the first to show the potential benefits for babies born to people who received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines during pregnancy, said researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention during the briefing.

It was already known that antibodies produced by vaccines against COVID-19 are transmitted to the fetus through the umbilical cord. How this may affect infants after birth was uncertain.

“Prior to this study, we did not yet have data to demonstrate whether these antibodies could protect a child from COVID-19,” said Dr. Dana Mini-Delman, obstetrician and CDC researcher.

The infants in the study were treated at 20 hospitals in 17 states from July 2021 to mid-January, during the jumps associated with delta and omicron variants.

WATCH: Mom shares pregnancy test with COVID-19

The researchers did not study the level of infection in infants. Instead, they reviewed data on 176 children under 6 months of age who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 203 to hospital for another disease. They also looked at the vaccinated status of the mothers of all infants.

Vaccination rates among mothers of infants with COVID-19 were significantly lower than among those whose children were hospitalized with something else – 16% vs. 32%.

The results reveal another reason for vaccinating pregnant women, researchers say.

About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States are fully vaccinated; most were vaccinated before pregnancy, CDC data show.

It is known that other vaccinations, including flu and pertussis vaccines, made during pregnancy protect mothers and infants.

The study provides “another important piece of the puzzle,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University, who called it important news for babies who are too young to be vaccinated against COVID-19. While the pictures are being studied. for older children and toddlers not on the horizon for children under 6 months.

“It’s not surprising, but it’s very encouraging,” Jamison said.


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