ISB News

COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters Are Essential for Maternal-Fetal Health

In light of the recent FDA and CDC decision to approve two updated messenger RNA COVID-19 booster shots, it is imperative to alert the pregnant population of the importance and effectiveness of these vaccines and boosters. 

In research published in Lancet Digital Health, researchers from the Institute for Systems Biology showed two important findings: 

  • Vaccinated pregnant people are less likely to have poor birth outcomes like preterm birth, stillbirth, or very low birth weight (below 3.3 pounds) compared to unvaccinated pregnant people, and those who had a booster are even less likely to have stillbirth compared to those vaccinated without boosters.
  • Pregnant people who are vaccinated are less likely to contract COVID-19 than unvaccinated pregnant people, and those vaccinated and boosted are less likely to get COVID than those who are vaccinated only.

Three of the research paper’s authors said the following:

“The take-home message is COVID-19 vaccination is associated with better maternal-fetal outcomes, and boosters are associated with further reduced rates of stillbirth.” 

– Jennifer Hadlock, MD, Associate Professor and Director of Medical Data Science, Institute for Systems Biology

“We found that vaccinated pregnant people had lower COVID-19 rates than those who were unvaccinated, and that the pregnant people who were vaccinated and boosted had even lower rates” 

Samantha Piekos, PhD, Research Scientist and K. Carole Ellison Fellow in Bioinformatics, Institute for Systems Biology

“I cite this data to my patients. Vaccines and boosters help keep mom and baby safe.” 

– Tanya Sorensen, MD, Executive Medical Director, Women and Children’s Institute and Acute Care Services, Providence Swedish

This research builds on the authors’ previously published study that showed even mild cases of COVID-19 during pregnancy can increase risk for poor birth outcomes.

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