Pregnant patients with COVID-19 are more likely to require intensive care and die compared with noninfected pregnant women. While the consequences of COVID-19 disease in pregnancy prompted many health care organizations to support vaccination in pregnancy, vaccine effects for mother and infant remained unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Beharier and Mayo et al. explored maternal and neonatal responses to the Pfizer BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. The authors examined blood samples from women and cord blood of neonates following childbirth. Samples were stratified into three groups: vaccine recipients, unvaccinated participants with past positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and unvaccinated participants without prior infection. Vaccinated mothers and mothers with previous infection generated and transferred protective IgG antibodies across the placenta. This study provides evidence to support the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy with protection to the neonate against infection, outlining clear vaccine benefits for both maternal and child health.
Irina Burd, Tomoshige Kino, James Segars