SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Vaccine maker Pfizer launched the first COVID-19 vaccine trial for pregnant women on Friday.
This after the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a study out of Washington State showing pregnant women are at a 70% higher risk for COVID-19 infection.
While CDC officials previously said pregnant frontline healthcare workers may choose to be vaccinated, Pfizer’s trial will provide scientific proof of its safety for pregnant women.
And if deemed safe, does it mean other manufacturer vaccines are in the clear?
“I think for the MRNA vaccine, that’s a safe assumption. Moderna’s running a registry on any pregnant woman who has had adverse affects, if they get a blip that’s exactly eight days after vaccination or something that’s a signal that they’ll follow up,” UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said. “So we have the trial with the Pfizer and a detailed registry that Moderna’s doing and I think that between the two of them we’ll be able to come up with definitive answers.”
The randomized study involves 4,000 healthy pregnant women, age 18 years and older, from several different countries – approximately half of whom will receive a placebo.
The study will run for approximately seven to 10 months.
And once born, the infants will be monitored their first six months of life – as the vaccine can impact the child before and even after it’s born.
“The mother’s immunity will be passed on transplacentally to the baby,” Dr. Rutherford said. “And if the mother breast feeds the baby, which we encourage all mothers to do, that’s much more in the way of antibodies getting to the baby. So there will be passive immunity for the babies.”
Pfizer and BioNTech also announced they expect to start additional studies in children between the ages of five and 11 over the next few months and in children younger than five later this year.