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CHOP Researchers Find COVID-19 Vaccination Leads to Higher Antibody Levels than Natural Infection in Both Pregnant People and their Babies

–Study also suggests vaccine timing is important in maximizing concentration of antibodies transferred to the baby–

Excerpt from the Press Release:

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ –Pregnant people who received one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines had 10-fold higher antibody concentrations than those who were naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2, a finding that was also observed in their babies, according to a new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published today in JAMA Network Open, also found that vaccine timing played an important role in maximizing the transfer of antibodies, with antibodies detected as early as 15 days after the first vaccine dose and increasing for several weeks after.

“These findings suggest that COVID-19 vaccination not only provides robust protection for mothers during pregnancy – it also provides higher concentrations of antibodies to babies than COVID-19 infection,” said first author Dustin D. Flannery, DO, MSCE, an attending neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Given that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, this study suggests pregnant people should prioritize getting vaccinated to protect themselves and their babies.”

To compare antibody responses in pregnant people who had been vaccinated versus naturally infected, the researchers analyzed a unique timeframe: patients who gave birth at Pennsylvania Hospital between August 9, 2020 and April 25, 2021.

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