There is much debate over whether pregnant women should get a COVID-19 vaccine. This is because studies of pregnant women receiving vaccinations have not been done, and so risks and possible harms (if any) are unknown. But what is known is that pregnant women are at higher risk for pregnancy complications if they get COVID-19 (e.g. increased risk of preterm labor and stillbirth).
Pregnant women getting the vaccine are essentially part of an experiment looking at the vaccine's safety for both the pregnancy and the developing baby. But finally a case study (one woman!) has been published.
The good news is that results look promising. Antibodies from the vaccinated mother crossed the placenta and reached the baby. The pregnant woman had received the Moderna vaccine at 36 weeks, she delivered the healthy baby at 39 weeks, and antibodies against the virus were found in the umbilical cord blood - which meant they had been transferred from the mother to the baby.
A related study (see below) also gives hope that it may be beneficial for pregnant women to get vaccinated - at least 17 days before the birth so that antibodies can build up.
Excerpts from The Scientist: COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant Moms May Protect Newborns
Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for severe illness and death compared to people with COVID-19 who are not pregnant, and they experience preterm birth and pregnancy loss more frequently than do expecting moms who don’t catch the virus. In spite of these risks, there is no clear guidance available yet for vaccinating pregnant women against COVID-19. But there is now some evidence that immunization could protect their newborns. For the first time, doctors report that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from a vaccinated mother can cross the placenta, pointing to a likely benefit for her fetus. ...continue reading "Pregnant Women and COVID-19 Vaccines"