The scientists found that the vaccine had similar responses in all three groups of women, inducing both antibody and T cell responses to the coronavirus. Experts say the images produce high levels of neutral antibodies that can prevent the virus from entering the cells in both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
“Obviously the vaccine worked for these people,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University who was not involved in the research. “These levels are expected to be quite protective.”
The researchers also found neutral antibodies in the breast milk of the vaccinated mother and in the umbilical cord blood collected from the infant at birth. Newborns and breastfeeding infants, ”said Dr. I-Riswai Collier, a Beth Israel physician-scientist who was the first author of the paper.
The result is “really encouraging,” said Dr. Iwasaki. “There is an added benefit of this in providing protective antibodies to newborns and fetuses, which is more of a reason to be vaccinated.”
The scientists also measured women’s immune responses to two forms of anxiety: B.1.1.7, first seen in the UK, and B.1.351, the first in South Africa. All three groups of women produced antibodies and T-cell responses to both strains after vaccination, although the antibody response was lower compared to the specific strain B.1.351 than the original strain of the virus, according to the study.
“These women developed immune responses to variables, although the asterisk significantly reduced the antibody response,” said Dr. Dan Baruch, a researcher and virologist at Beth Israel. (Dr. Baroch and his colleagues developed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was not included in this study.)
“Overall, this is good news,” he added, “and added to the data suggesting that vaccination for pregnant women is very beneficial.”