390 pregnant women who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine participated in a new Sheba study to determine the prevalence of side effects that may harm them or their unborn children. According to the study, only 0.8% of pregnant women suffered from a fever over 39 degrees Celsius, while the incidence of bleeding, rupture of membranes, or precipitous labor as a result of the vaccine was insignificant.
“All of the vaccinated pregnant women responded well to the vaccine and displayed a high level of blood antibodies, which was however somewhat lower compared to vaccinated women who were not pregnant,” said Prof. Yoav Yinon, Head of Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sheba Medical Center and one of the principal investigators of the study.
In a separate study, Sheba researchers observed that among 64 vaccinated and pregnant participants, blood tests indicated that 96% of the fetuses received COVID-19 antibodies from their mothers through the umbilical cord, providing them with a level of protection against the virus.
“Comparing the test results of women who recovered from COVID-19 to the results of women who were inoculated showed that the umbilical cord blood of the latter had a much higher level of antibodies,” said Prof. Yinon, who added: “We still don’t know how long the mother’s vaccination protects her baby after birth, but we can safely estimate that as is the case with other vaccines, the protection will last for at least a few months. Our studies prove the safety and efficacy of inoculating pregnant women for COVID-19, and also the benefit for their newborns.”