A new US study, published on Tuesday, shows that babies born to mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy are nearly 60% less likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19.
The researchers believe that this protection comes in particular from the transmission of antibodies against the virus between a pregnant mother and her baby through the placenta. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study of babies up to six months old, who were hospitalized between July 2021 and January 2022.
The study found that the effectiveness of vaccinating mothers during pregnancy to prevent children from being hospitalized after birth was 61%. The mother of the only child who died during the study was not vaccinated. And 84% of children admitted to hospital with Covid-19 were born to unvaccinated mothers. The study did not consider women who had been vaccinated before pregnancy.
Only those who, during pregnancy, received either the two doses or the second dose of the vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna were included. “In short, vaccinating the mother is a very important way to help protect these young children,” CDC researcher Dana Minnie Dillman said during a press conference.
While Pfizer is expected to present clinical trial results for a vaccine no older than six months in the coming weeks, a vaccine for children under six months of age is “not in sight,” the researcher said. The study also showed that protection was higher for children whose mothers were vaccinated later in pregnancy. An indication that appears consistent with the fact that antibody levels decline in the months following the injection.
But Dana Minnai-Delman stressed the importance of vaccination, which is carried out at any stage of pregnancy, to protect the mother from a potentially serious case of illness after infection, which is also dangerous for the baby in his stomach.
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