Publication date: Jul 03, 2023
Longitudinal data on COVID-19 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine reactogenicity and immunogenicity in pregnancy and for the mother-infant dyad are needed. To examine COVID-19 mRNA vaccine reactogenicity and immunogenicity in pregnancy and observe longitudinal maternal and infant outcomes. This prospective cohort study of pregnant individuals enrolled in the COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy and Lactation study from December 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, with follow-up through March 31, 2022, was conducted at a large academic medical center in an urban metropolitan area in California. Pregnant individuals receiving COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273 [Moderna] and BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech]) were eligible. Of 81 participants enrolled, 5 were excluded after enrollment: 1 terminated pregnancy, 1 received the third vaccine dose prior to delivery, and 3 delivered prior to completing the initial vaccine series. COVID-19 mRNA vaccination at any time during pregnancy. The primary outcomes were vaccine response as measured by blood Immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers after each vaccine dose and self-reported postvaccination symptoms. Patients’ IgG titers were measured in cord blood and in infant blood at intervals up to 1 year of life; IgG and IgA titers were measured in maternal milk. Clinical outcomes were collected from medical records. Of 76 pregnant individuals included in final analyses (median [IQR] maternal age, 35 [29-41] years; 51 [67. 1%] White; 28 [36. 8%] primigravid; 37 [48. 7%] nulliparous), 42 (55. 3%) received BNT162b2 and 34 (44. 7%) received mRNA-1237. There were no significant differences in maternal characteristics between the 2 vaccine groups. Systemic symptoms were more common after receipt of the second vaccine dose than after the first dose (42 of 59 [71. 2%] vs 26 of 59 [44. 1%]; P = . 007) and after mRNA-1237 than after BNT162b2 (25 of 27 [92. 6%] vs 17 of 32 53. 1%; P = . 001). Systemic symptoms were associated with 65. 6% higher median IgG titers than no symptoms after the second vaccine dose (median [IQR], 2596 [1840-4455] vs 1568 [1114-4518] RFU; P = . 007); mean cord titers in individuals with local or systemic symptoms were 6. 3-fold higher than in individuals without symptoms. Vaccination in all trimesters elicited a robust maternal IgG response. The IgG transfer ratio was highest among individuals vaccinated in the second trimester. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG was detectable in cord blood regardless of vaccination trimester. In milk, IgG and IgA titers remained above the positive cutoff for at least 5-6 months after birth, and infants of mothers vaccinated in the second and third trimesters had positive IgG titers for at least 5 to 6 months of life. There were no vaccine-attributable adverse perinatal outcomes. The findings of this cohort study suggest that mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy provokes a robust IgG response for the mother-infant dyad for approximately 6 months after birth. Postvaccination symptoms may indicate a more robust immune response, without adverse maternal, fetal, or neonatal outcomes.
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