Vaccination against COVID-19 during pregnancy is safe

Two new studies confirm that administering COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy is safe for both mother and child. It does not increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, or any complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

These results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) should reassure pregnant women and encourage them to get vaccinated as they are more likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19 and if they do, give birth prematurely.

One of these two articles describes the study of a cohort of approximately 100,000 pregnancies in Ontario.

In their analysis, University of Ottawa’s Deshayne Fell and colleagues found no increase in late pregnancy complications among the 22,660 women who received at least one dose of the vaccine during their second or third trimester of pregnancy (ie, 23% of the cohort). compared to what was observed in unvaccinated pregnant women.

Vaccinated mothers were no more likely to develop infection of the membranes that protect the baby, required an emergency caesarean section, or had excessive bleeding during childbirth, “like many signs of a healthy pregnancy and delivery,” says Fraume Fell, who led the study.

No more babies born to women who were vaccinated during pregnancy had to be transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit or had a low Apgar score, a test done five minutes after birth that aims to measure various vital signs of the baby judge .

The second article, published in the same issue of JAMA, detailing the analysis of approximately 160,000 pregnancies by women living in Sweden and Norway. This study found no increased risk of preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, low Apgar score, or transfer to the NICU in the group of 28,500 women who were vaccinated during pregnancy (ie, 18% of the cohort).

Soothing Results

These results are good news for pregnant women, as they are consistent with studies conducted in the United States and Israel, conclude the authors of an editorial published in the JAMA.

“The very large number of people vaccinated during their pregnancy allowed us to see whether rare complications were more common in women who were vaccinated during their pregnancy. However, it is very reassuring to see that we are coming to the same conclusions in three different countries (Canada, Sweden and Norway) in three different populations subject to different guidelines,” adds Ms.me Fell.

In the obstetrics department at MUHC, which he directs, Dr.R Richard Brown claims to have found no particular problems or sequelae in women vaccinated before or during pregnancy.

“Even if they were not very numerous, all pregnant women [suivies au CUSM] who were really sick were not vaccinated. Also, we’ve had to do slightly more preterm births in unvaccinated women who have had COVID-19,” he says.

In fact, several studies conducted in different places around the world have shown that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are at greater risk – 2.4 times more than other women – for serious complications, requiring hospitalization, critical care or medical treatment. They are also more likely to endanger their pregnancy, give birth prematurely and give birth to a stillborn baby, Ms.me Fell.

For the dconcerning Isabelle Boucoiran of CHU Sainte-Justine, who is leading the Quebec component of a Canadian study of COVID-19 in pregnant women, miscarriage isn’t what we fear most: It’s rather “the risk that she’ll end up with severe respiratory distress.” and that the latter becomes complicated and leads to premature births”.

According to Dconcerning Boucoiran, among pregnant women who contract COVID-19, those over 35 and those who are overweight are twice as likely to end up in intensive care, those who have hypertension are three times more likely and those who contract the infection in their third trimester pregnancy, four times more. “It is very important to get vaccinated before the third trimester because that is when the risk of contracting a severe form of COVID-19 is highest. »

An American study has shown that vaccination during pregnancy reduces the risk that the pregnant woman and her child will contract a severe form of COVID-19. “We see that when vaccinated during pregnancy, the antibodies produced by the mother cross the placenta and are transferred to the baby, which can thus be protected in the first few months of life,” emphasizes Dr.me Fell.

The DR Brown estimates that of his pregnant patients, between 50% and 60% are vaccinated and 40% do not want it. “Some are antivax convinced ; others have agreed to receive the flu and whooping cough vaccines recommended during pregnancy but feel mRNA vaccines are too new and plan to get vaccinated after their pregnancy. »

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