NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s good news in a study out Wednesday about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID vaccine for pregnant women, and especially for their babies.
The mRNA vaccines are not only safe for pregnant women, they also protect their newborns.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 330 New Cases, No Additional Deaths
It has been one of the most worried-over issues in the COVID vaccine debates — is the vaccine safe for pregnant women? If so, when should she get the shot? And of course, is the vaccine safe for the unborn baby? We now have answers.
As CBS New York’s Dr. Max Gomez reports, in a study just published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Maternal Fetal Medicine, NYU researchers measured antibody levels in pregnant women who had been vaccinated and later measured those antibodies in their newborns.
“When the baby is born, we call it a neonate, and they had not only antibody, but very high levels of antibody, which means that the infant will be protected for several months of life,” said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, with NYU Langone Health.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports 4,496 New Coronavirus Cases, 88 Additional Deaths
In other words, the antibodies that mom-to-be developed after her vaccination were passed along to her fetus while still in the womb. Importantly, doctors were also able to distinguish between antibodies from the vaccine as opposed to antibodies from a previous COVID infection.
“Vaccination affords protection not only for the mother but for the infant as well that you’re saving. You could possibly be saving two lives with vaccination,” Lighter said.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccination Is Nearly 91% Effective In Children
Other studies have found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have now been given to more than 160,000 pregnant women with no increase in adverse events, including no premature births above that seen in unvaccinated women. This study found that women made the most antibodies if vaccinated in the second half of their pregnancy.