CDC study: Vaccination during pregnancy can help protect infant too
A study released Tuesday finds new evidence that a parent getting vaccinated against COVID-19 while pregnant can help protect the infant against the virus.
The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that vaccination with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines during pregnancy was 61 percent effective in protecting infants from hospitalization with COVID-19.
“Maternal vaccination is a really important way to help protect young infants,” Dana Meaney-Delman, a CDC researcher, told reporters.
Vaccination during pregnancy is important “both to help protect the people who are pregnant and to help protect their babies,” she added.
The new findings bolster the CDC’s ongoing push for more pregnant people to get vaccinated, with the agency saying there are no side effects that should deter people from getting the vaccine during pregnancy.
The study found that vaccination provided more protection for the infant if administered later in pregnancy, but the CDC emphasized that pregnant people should get the vaccine as soon as possible.
The data used in the study came from 20 pediatric hospitals in 17 states, from July 2021 to January 2022.
“COVID-19 during pregnancy is associated with severe illness and death, and pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to experience preterm birth, stillbirth, and other pregnancy complications,” the study stated.
The authors also noted that babies under six months of age are not currently eligible to be vaccinated themselves, meaning that the parent getting vaccinated is an important way to protect them.
Last week, progress was delayed on a highly anticipated vaccine for children under age 5, with officials waiting to see data on a third dose of the vaccine.