By Annette Pinder

A study of 103 women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines while pregnant or nursing offers great news for women who are pregnant or nursing. The small study was led by Dr. Dan Barouch, head of the Center for Virology and Vaccine research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Dr. Barouch found said that women who received the mRNA vaccines while pregnant or nursing developed immune responses as robust as those of nonpregnant women who have been vaccinated. The women also seemed to pass protective antibodies on to their infants through breast milk and blood.

The study of 103 women published in the journal JAMA, came three weeks after results of a larger study of 35,000 women reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. That study found no increase in miscarriage rates, premature births, and other complications in pregnant women who took either the mRNA vaccines.

“Together with the safety data that has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine paper, these data support the use of these vaccines in the important populations of pregnant women and lactating women,” said Dr. Barouch.

As of May 10, 2021, more than 110,000 women were pregnant at the time they received the COVID-19 vaccine without any increase in miscarriage, premature births, and other complications. In contrast, pregnant women are at a much higher risk than non-pregnant women for severe illness, miscarriage, and preterm delivery, and are 20 times more likely to die than non-pregnant women who contract the virus.

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