Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women Have a High Antibody Response After Vaccination

The largest study to date is more great news for pregnant people

Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readMar 27, 2021

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Photo: Marina Demidiuk/iStock/Getty Images

Last week, a research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital published the largest study to date verifying the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy. This new study helps the 3.7 million people who give birth in the United States per year find answers to their questions about getting the Covid-19 vaccine and pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other women’s health experts agree that Covid-19 vaccines should be offered to those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Though pregnant people were excluded from the initial Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials, obstetricians and gynecologists, like me, follow the latest research to help our patients make safe decisions regarding their pregnancy.

The Boston research team published their study, titled “Covid-19 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women,” in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG). Their findings are consistent with several other small studies showing that pregnant people have a robust antibody response after getting a Covid-19 vaccination and that they secrete the antibodies into their breast milk.

This study is important verification that pregnant women also develop an appropriate antibody response after vaccination.

This study analyzed blood samples and breast milk from 131 women in Boston and the surrounding area. The study included 84 pregnant, 31 lactating, and 16 nonpregnant people as well as five women who reported a previous infection with Covid-19. Each person received the two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, following the protocols approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The research team tested each person’s blood and breast milk before vaccination and monitored their antibody response. The scientists compared antibody levels in pregnant women with 37 individuals with a history of natural infection during pregnancy and a cohort of nonpregnant people.

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Dr Jeff Livingston
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Obgyn, Husband, Father, & Entrepreneur. Writing about Women’s Health, Parenting, and Self-improvement. CEO of MacArthurmc.com & founder of Medika.life