Inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy: No impact on neonatal outcome, study finds

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A comprehensive cohort study explored the impact of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines administered within 3 months before conception, revealing reassuring findings that neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth and NICU admission, remain unaffected.

Inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy: No impact on neonatal outcome, study finds | Image Credit: © insta_photos - © insta_photos - stock.adobe.com.

Inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy: No impact on neonatal outcome, study finds | Image Credit: © insta_photos - © insta_photos - stock.adobe.com.

Neonatal outcomes do not significantly differ between newborns born to unvaccinated women compared to women who received inactivated vaccines for COVID-19 before conception, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.

Takeaways

  1. The study found no significant differences in neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA), and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, between newborns born to women who received inactivated COVID-19 vaccines within 3 months before conception and those born to unvaccinated women.
  2. The World Health Organization reported over 868,000 new cases of COVID-19 and over 3700 deaths between June 26 and July 23, 2023, highlighting the ongoing global health concern posed by the virus.
  3. COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is associated with morbidity and mortality in both mothers and infants. Given that COVID-19 vaccination does not increase morbidity risk, the WHO recommends pregnant women receive vaccination.
  4. While the recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy exists, most available information pertains to mRNA vaccines, with limited data on inactivated COVID-19 vaccines. This study specifically evaluates the impact of inactivated vaccination on neonatal outcomes.
  5. The study's results suggest that inactivated COVID-19 vaccination within 3 months before conception does not impact newborn outcomes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported over 868,000 newcases of COVID-19 and over 3700 deaths between June 26 and July 23, 2023, making COVID-19 a continuous global health concern. COVID-19 vaccination offered protection among multiple populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including pregnant women.

COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is associated with morbidity and mortality in mothers and infants. As COVID-19 vaccination does not increase morbidity risk, the WHO recommends pregnant women received vaccination. However, most information about vaccines is based on mRNA vaccines, with little data available on inactivated COVID-19 vaccines.

To evaluate the impact of inactivated vaccination within 3 months before conception on neonatal outcomes, investigators conducted a cohort study including all singleton live births from March 1 to June 30, 2022, at Tianjin Central Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Newborns in the vaccinated group were born from mothers who received their initial COVID-19 dose prior to conception, while those whose mothers did not receive vaccination before or during pregnancy were in the unvaccinated group. Data on COVID-19 infection was obtained through questionnaires, and gestational age was determined by ultrasound or last menstrual period.

Exclusion criteria included missing consent, non-singleton birth, invalid or incomplete COVID-19 vaccine information, untargeted COVID-19 vaccine receipt, incomplete clinical information, COVID-19 vaccination more than 3 months before conception, and any dose of vaccination against COVID-19 during pregnancy.

Primary outcomes included preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA), and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission. Secondary outcomes included very preterm birth, late preterm birth, low birth weight, very low birth weight, neonatal bacterial infection, and mortality.

There were 856 neonates included in the analysis, 369 of which were in the vaccinated group. Higher education levels and rates of unplanned pregnancy were observed in the vaccination group, as well as decreased rates of assisted reproductive technology use.

Rates of preterm birth, SGA, and NICU admission did not differ between the vaccinated and unvaccinated group, even after adjusting for maternal characteristics. Very preterm birth, late preterm birth, low birth weight, very low birth weight, and neonatal bacterial infection also did not differ between groups. No cases of mortality were observed.

These results indicated COVID-19 vaccination does not impact newborn outcomes. Investigators recommended women preparing for pregnancy receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Reference

Chen Z, Mu X, Wang X, et al. Association of maternal inactivated COVID-19 vaccination within 3 months before conception with neonatal outcomes. Vaccines (Basel). 2023;11(11):1710. doi:10.3390/vaccines11111710

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