Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women: Safe and especially important when it is a boy

Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women: Safe and especially important when it is a boy
Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women: Safe and especially important when it is a boy

Pregnancy is a delicate challenge for the immune systems of both mother and child. The mother’s defense must limit itself. Otherwise she would classify the developing child as alien and hostile and accidentally kill the fetus. The child, on the other hand, has never had contact with pathogens and is initially completely dependent on the mother’s protection. If the pregnant woman and her treating physicians are careful in this situation to burden the immune system with additional challenges such as a vaccination, then this fundamental skepticism is justified for the time being.

New studies show: vaccination is safe for pregnant women

But it is worth taking a closer look at which risk is greater: a vaccination or a possible disease? For flu, for example, it has long been clear that pregnant women should urgently get vaccinated because the infection poses a great danger to the mother and her child. Basically the same applies to Covid-19. But here the vaccination recommendation is still young and so many women are unsure: Does the vaccination lead to unwanted abortions?

New studies can reassure you here: the mRNA vaccines do not endanger pregnancy. But it is becoming increasingly clear: a Covid 19 infection is life-threatening for the pregnant woman and her child. Especially when the baby-to-be is a boy.

First trimester of pregnancy: Unwanted terminations are common

At a second glance, however, the researchers saw two things: The rate of unwanted abortions was just as high as in women who had not been vaccinated. Such terminations are most common in the first trimester of pregnancy. It affects between 11 and 22 percent of pregnancies. And: All women who had been vaccinated in the last third of their pregnancy gave birth to their children healthy and happy.

Vaccination recommended in the second trimester of pregnancy

Another team of researchers from the US Disease Protection Agency (CDC) repeated this observation with newly collected data. Here, too, the analysis of around 2,500 pregnant women registered with V-Safe showed no increased risk of termination due to a vaccination. Another study that even included data from 105,000 women also came to the same conclusion.

Accordingly, the vaccination recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) in Germany now reads: If possible, women should vaccinate themselves before becoming pregnant. And if it is too late for that, then pregnant women should wait until the second trimester of pregnancy, but then definitely get vaccinated.

Pregnant women with boys develop fewer antibodies against Sars-CoV-2

Two new studies in the journal “Science Translational Medicine” shed additional light on how pregnancy affects immunity after Covid-19 or a vaccination. A team led by Evan Bordt from Harvard Medical School analyzed samples from 68 pregnant women infected with corona and determined: If the fetus was male, i.e. a woman was pregnant with a boy, the amount of antibodies against the Sars coronavirus-2 was clear reduced. The babies also received fewer of these antibodies via the umbilical cord. If the child is a boy, then the woman’s immune system seems to run down even further than that of a girl. The finding could partly explain why men are more at risk from Covid-19 overall.

A second study by Caroline Atyeo and colleagues in turn shows for vaccination with the mRNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna that pregnant and breastfeeding women only developed certain important details of the vaccination response after the second vaccination dose. Therefore, this second vaccination dose is particularly important for pregnant women, the authors write in their article.

Researcher: Earlier involvement of pregnant women is necessary

In a comment, Christian Ovies and colleagues summarize the importance of including pregnant women earlier in clinical trials on vaccine safety. Because: As described at the beginning, pregnancy is a special situation for the immune system that has so far not been researched enough, but which urgently requires more knowledge, especially with regard to vaccinations. Earlier studies could help to dispel uncertainties in good time.


Covid19 vaccination pregnant women Safe important boy

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