Protection from COVID-19 could be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy. A new study has claimed this after observing the incidence of hospitalization among newborns from moms who got jabbed pre-birth.

The Study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study Tuesday showing real-world data on the cases of babies who got hospitalized after birth due to COVID-19. The organization correlated them to data on the mothers who received their vaccines while pregnant.

Based on the collected data, there is reason to believe that the antibodies moms developed from the vaccines got transferred to their babies through the placenta. This provided the latter with protection against SARS-CoV-2 even before they were born.

For the study, researchers examined data from children’s hospitals in 17 states from July 2021 through mid-January 2022. After analyzing the information, they found that babies born of mothers who received the vaccine during their pregnancy were 60% less likely to be hospitalized with the novel coronavirus through their first six months.

Among the babies who got hospitalized in their first six months, 84% accounted for those whose moms did not receive the vaccine during their pregnancy. The babies of unvaccinated moms were also more likely to end up in an ICU.

Collected data showed that the vaccinated moms received their two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna during pregnancy. Hence, the authors claimed that completion of a two-dose primary mRNA vaccination series was crucial in reducing the risk for COVID-associated hospitalization among infants aged six months and below.

Previous research showed that the mother’s antibodies from the COVID vaccines could be transferred to their developing fetus through the placenta. The new study provided additional evidence to this, as suggested by the incidence rates among the newborns, per CNBC.

The Takeaway

The findings reinforce the CDC’s stance on COVID vaccination during pregnancy. The public health agency has always been firm in encouraging the public to get vaccinated whenever possible to protect themselves from the virus and prevent further transmissions amid the pandemic.

In August, CDC updated its vaccination guidance to indicate that pregnant and breastfeeding women should get jabbed against the coronavirus to prevent “severe illness, hospitalizations and death.” At the time, the agency also said that pregnant moms were at a higher risk of preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, so they should get vaccinated.

“I cannot emphasize enough how today’s findings reinforce the importance of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, both to protect the people who are pregnant and to help protect their babies,” CDC Branch Chief of Infant Outcomes Monitoring Research and Prevention Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman was quoted as saying by USA Today.

Apart from the lower incidence of hospitalizations among babies born from vaccinated moms, the researchers also noted that the babies whose mothers got vaccinated in the latter part of their pregnancy developed higher protection from COVID-19.

But there were certain limitations in the study that were hard to miss. For instance, the team did not test the moms for COVID before or during pregnancy. They also failed to uncover if the vaccine effectiveness differed depending on the variants prevalent at the time of the pregnancy.

The researchers acknowledged the limitations and said that additional evaluation is needed to determine if vaccination before or during pregnancy provides better protection to newborns. They also reiterated the CDC’s recommendation for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.