Some immune system memory persists year after infection; COVID from Omicron also less severe for pregnant women
March 25, 2022; 11:10 AM EDT
“Current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are mainly focused on neutralizing antibodies,” the researchers noted. “These data underline the importance of broad B-cell and T-cell immunity for future vaccine strategies targeting SARS-CoV-2.”
COVID while pregnant more common, less severe with Omicron
Doctors in Texas studied 2,641 women with COVID-19 infections during pregnancy from May 2020 through January 2022. While the weekly numbers of deliveries were similar throughout the study period, the average weekly number of infected women giving birth was 17 early in the pandemic, 14 during the Delta era, and 138 during Omicron, the researchers reported on Thursday in JAMA.
Fewer than 1% of women infected during the Omicron wave required hospitalization, compared to nearly 12% during Delta, they found. “We got very lucky” that Omicron’s transmissibility was not matched by its severity, study leader Dr. Emily Adhikari of UT Southwestern said in a statement.
No adverse effect of mRNA shot for pregnant women, newborns
COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy with mRNA shots, such as those from Moderna (MRNA.O) or Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE), does not appear to cause problems for women or their newborns, according to two studies published on Thursday in JAMA.
One study of 157,521 pregnancies, conducted in Scandinavia, found no significant links between the vaccines – mostly given during the second or third trimester – and pregnancy problems. The other study involved 97,590 women in Canada, including 22,660 who received at least one dose of a vaccine during pregnancy and 44,815 who were vaccinated after pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy, compared with after pregnancy and with no vaccination, was not significantly associated with childbirth complications for mothers or babies.
An editorial published with the two reports calls for similar research in countries where other types of COVID-19 vaccines are more commonly used in pregnancy.
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