New research is continuing to show that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 while pregnant doesn’t increase prenatal risks for preterm birth, birthing a baby who is small for their gestational age at birth, or stillbirth, concludes a large study from Canada published by the medical journal, The BMJ .
More on Covid-19 and Pregnancy:
Covid-19 Infection in Pregnancy Can Create Complications
Covid-19 infection during pregnancy has been linked to increased risks of complications, including hospital admission, preterm birth, stillbirth and even death during pregnancy, researchers note.
Vaccination against Covid-19 , however, is proving effective against covid-19 infection in pregnant persons as and their developing newborns. Still, evidence about pregnancy outcomes following covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy from large studies is limited.
Covid-19-related Risks in Pregnancy
In this study, researchers set out to assess risk to newborns related to preterm birth, small for gestational age at birth, and stillbirth after mom received covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
Using maternal immunization and newborn birth records from May 2021 through December 2021 among babies born after 20 weeks of gestation, researchers correlated a wide range of factors to assess for risks of Covid-19 immunization, including mother’s age at the infant’s birth, pre-pregnancy body mass index, reported smoking or substance use during pregnancy, pre-existing health conditions, number of previous live births and stillbirths, and area of residence and income.
Assessing Covid-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy
Of 85,162 births, half occurred in individuals who received one dose or more of a covid-19 vaccine during pregnancy, mainly Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. The researchers found that vaccination during pregnancy didn’t increase an infant’s overall risk for:
- preterm birth (6.5% among vaccinated v 6.9% among unvaccinated)
- spontaneous preterm birth (3.7% v 4.4%)
- very preterm birth (0.59% v 0.89%)
- risk of small for gestational age at birth (9.1% v 9.2%)
- stillbirth (0.25% v 0.44%).
These findings remained the same regardless of trimester in which the vaccine was given, number of doses received, or which vaccine received.
In this observational study (which doesn’t determine cause), researchers indicated that their findings along with additional studies, is adding evidence to the fact that vaccination during pregnancy is effective against the risks of covid-19 infection for pregnant individuals and their developing babies. They also stressed that the evidence is also building that covid-19 illness during pregnancy is associated with greater risks for both mom and her baby, and those risks should be discussed with a pregnant person and their healthcare provider during prenatal care.