HealthDay News — Neonates born to women vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy have high levels of antibodies to the spike protein, according to a study published online September 22 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology: Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Megan E. Trostle, MD, from New York University Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues examined the presence of transplacental antibody transmission among women vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy with at least one dose of either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). Umbilical cord blood was obtained from 36 neonates at delivery and was analyzed for antibodies to the spike protein (anti-S immunoglobulin [Ig]G) and antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein (anti-N IgG).

The researchers found that 100% of neonates were positive for anti-S IgG at high titers: 34 and 2 with titers of great than 250 and 201 to 249 U/mL, respectively. Both mothers of neonates with cord blood titers greater than 250 U/mL received their second vaccine dose more than 20 weeks before delivery. Three additional women with an interval from vaccination to delivery of more than 20 weeks had neonates with titers less than 250 U/mL. All 31 of the 36 samples tested for anti-N IgG were negative. Only one mother had received only 1 dose of mRNA vaccine before delivery; her neonate was positive for anti-S IgG at a titer of greater than 250 U/mL.

“Our findings add to a growing list of important reasons why women should be advised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy for the added benefit of their newborn receiving crucial protection,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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