New Study Shows COVID-19 Vaccination and Boosting During Pregnancy Protects Infants for Six Months


A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has found that pregnant women who receive an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination or booster can provide their infants with solid protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection for at least six months after birth. These findings, published in Pediatrics, emphasize the importance of pregnant women receiving both the COVID-19 vaccine and booster to ensure that their infants are born with robust protection that lasts until they are eligible for vaccination.

COVID-19 poses a significant risk to newborns and young infants, making it crucial to protect them from the virus. However, there are currently no COVID-19 vaccines available for infants under six months old. The Multisite Observational Maternal and Infant COVID-19 Vaccine (MOMI-Vax) study previously revealed that pregnant women who received both doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine had antibodies from the vaccine present in their newborns’ cord blood. This suggested that the infants had some level of protection against COVID-19, although the duration and efficacy of this protection were unknown.

To address this, researchers from the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) analyzed data from 475 infants born to pregnant mothers enrolled in the MOMI-Vax study. Out of these infants, 271 were born to mothers who received two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, while the remaining 204 were born to mothers who received two doses of the vaccine as well as a booster. The infants were followed up during their first six months of life, and their blood samples were analyzed to determine the levels of antibodies and their protection against COVID-19 infection.

The study found that newborns with high levels of antibodies at birth had a greater level of protection against COVID-19 during the first six months of life. Infants born to mothers who received the booster dose during pregnancy had higher levels of antibodies at birth and demonstrated greater protection against COVID-19 infection during follow-up visits compared to infants whose mothers only received two doses of the vaccine.

The results highlight the importance of maternal vaccination for protecting newborns who are too young to receive the vaccine themselves. Throughout the study, none of the infants required hospitalization for COVID-19. While older children and adults should continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, this study emphasizes the benefits of maternal vaccination in providing protection to vulnerable infants.

The researchers involved in the MOMI-Vax study will continue to analyze the data to gain further insights into COVID-19 protection in infants. These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy in not only protecting the mother but also offering critical protection to their newborns.

1.      Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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