Vaccination during pregnancy protects infants after birth, lowers long COVID-19 risk: 2 new findings

Infants born to mothers vaccinated for COVID-19 while pregnant were less likely to be hospitalized for the virus within the first six months of life, a new CDC study found. A separate report found vaccination lowers the risk of becoming a COVID-19 long-hauler. 

Two new COVID-19 research findings: 

1. Babies born to mothers who received two mRNA doses of COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy were about 61 percent less likely to be hospitalized with the virus within the first six months after birth, the CDC's Feb. 15 "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" found. The findings offer the first real-world evidence that antibodies generated from maternal vaccination could be passed on to infants. 

Maternal vaccination later in pregnancy (21 weeks through 14 days before delivery) was linked to a higher level (80 percent) of protection against hospitalizations for infants. The research involved 379 hospitalized infants across 20 pediatric hospitals in the U.S. Among 176 infants hospitalized with COVID-19, 84 percent were born to mothers who were not vaccinated during pregnancy. 

2. Vaccination may also lower the risk of developing long COVID-19, according to a report published Feb. 15 from the U.K. Health Security Agency. The research involved review of 15 international long COVID-19 studies, eight of which looked at the effect of vaccinations administered before infection. Those studies suggested vaccinated people were less likely to develop long COVID-19 symptoms up to six months after infection, compared to unvaccinated people. 

People who received two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna's vaccine before becoming infected were about half as likely to develop long COVID-19 symptoms lasting more than 28 days, compared to unvaccinated people or those who received one dose, data from some of the studies in the review suggested. 


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