COVID-19 Vaccination Has No Impact on Placental Health, Suggesting Safety for Pregnant Women


No differences were found among placenta health indicators, birth weights, or well-being scores between vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women, indicating that COVID-19 vaccination is safe for use in pregnant women.

COVID-19 vaccination has no impact on the health of placentas in pregnant women, according to findings published in a research letter in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

These findings emphasize the safety of vaccination during pregnancy for both babies and pregnant women, according to the authors.

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital examined 18 indicators of placental health associated with a higher risk of adverse health issues for babies and their mothers to assess the impact of COVID-19 vaccination beyond maternal and infant outcomes evaluated in previous studies. Placental health indicators include the presence of lesions, blood clots, and inflammation, among others.

They collected data from clinical records on babies’ birth weights and Apgar scores, assessing well-being at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth.

A total of 431 women who gave birth to single babies at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical Center between April 2020 and July 2021 were included in the analysis. Results for 164 women who were fully vaccinated during pregnancy were compared with 267 unvaccinated women.

The vaccinated and unvaccinated groups had similar demographics in terms of maternal age, gestational age at birth, and mode of delivery. All of the women in the study had no evidence of current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Full vaccination was defined as having received 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 average gestational age was 25.7 weeks for receiving dose 1 and 29 weeks for 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 the vaccinated women and 26.2% of the unvaccinated women had a comorbidity of preeclampsia, hypertension, or intrauterine growth restriction; however, a subanalysis excluding those cases did not alter the findings of the study.

Detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were found in the umbilical 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 severe illness from COVID-19 but can also protect their babies for several months after birth.

The authors concluded that their findings add to the existing body of knowledge demonstrating that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy.

Reference

COVID-19 vaccine does not negatively affect placental health, study finds. ScienceDaily. News Release. July 22, 2022. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220722123242.htm



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