COVID-19 vaccination does not affect placental health in pregnant women, according to findings published in a research letter in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
These findings, according to the authors, emphasize the safety of vaccination during pregnancy for both infants and pregnant women.
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital examined 18 indicators of placental health associated with a higher risk of adverse health conditions for babies and their mothers to assess the impact of COVID-19 vaccination beyond the maternal and child outcomes evaluated in previous studies. Indicators of placental health included the presence of lesions, blood clots, and inflammation.
They collected data from clinical records on babies’ birth weight and Apgar scores, and assessed well-being at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth.
A total of 431 women who gave birth to single babies between April 2020 and July 2021 at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical Center were included in the analysis. Results of 164 women who were fully vaccinated during pregnancy were compared with 267 unvaccinated women.
The vaccinated and unvaccinated groups had comparable demographics in terms of maternal age, gestational age at birth, and mode of delivery. All women in the study had no evidence of current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Complete vaccination was defined as receiving at least 2 doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Of the vaccinated women in this study, 130 received the Pfizer vaccine and 34 received the Moderna vaccine. The mean gestational age was 25.7 weeks before receiving dose 1 and 29 weeks before receiving dose 2.
No significant differences were found in placental health indicators, birth weights or Apgar scores between vaccinated and unvaccinated women.
Researchers note that 17.1% of vaccinated women and 26.2% of unvaccinated women had comorbidities of preeclampsia, hypertension, or intrauterine growth retardation; however, a sub-analysis that excluded those cases did not change the study’s findings.
Detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in the cord blood of 95% of babies born to vaccinated mothers, as researchers expected. The authors note that previous studies suggest that vaccinating mothers during pregnancy not only protects them from serious illness from COVID-19, but may also protect their babies several months after birth.
The authors concluded that their findings add to the existing knowledge showing that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy.
The COVID-19 vaccine does not negatively affect placental health, research shows. ScienceDaily. News item. July 22, 2022. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220722123242.htm