Research shows vaccines by Pfizer's BioNTech and Moderna are generating "robust humoural immunity" amongst pregnant and lactating women who can transfer immunity to the virus to their newborns.
Covid-19 vaccines created by Pfizer's BioNTech and Moderna are effective in pregnant and lactating women who can transfer immunity to the virus to their newborns, according to a new study.
The research released on Thursday in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology said that Covid-19 vaccines were generating "robust humoural immunity" amongst pregnant and lactating women.
The study also found said that "vaccine-generated antibodies" were present in umbilical cord blood and breastmilk from all samples taken.
"These vaccines seem to work incredibly effectively in these women," one of the researchers, Galit Alter, told CNN.
"Nearly all the moms were getting a pretty decent level of antibodies to their babies," Alter said.
Lack of data on pregnant women
In December, the European drug regulator said the use of Pfizer's vaccine on pregnant women should be done on a case by case basis.
At the time Harald Enzmann, chair of European Medicines Agency's Human Medicines Committee (CHMP) said they did not have enough data from the companies' clinical trials on the potential risks to pregnant women.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard said their objective was to gather data on pregnant and lactating women to guide vaccine decision-making, as the test groups were excluded from initial trials.
'Strikingly higher' antibody levels in women
The researchers examined samples from 131 women who received either the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine between mid-December 2020 and early March 2021.
Eighty-four of the participants were pregnant, 31 were lactating and 16 were not pregnant.
The team found "strikingly higher" antibody levels in participants who had been vaccinated than those who had been infected with Covid-19 during pregnancy.
Their research also indicated that Moderna might be the better choice for pregnant women.
Among the two vaccines, Alter told CNN they observed "higher levels of IgA antibodies in pregnant women who received the Moderna vaccine."
There was no evidence of more side effects in the participants than the general population but additional research is still needed to understand the long-term effects of antibody protection in newborns.