American scientists at Duke University (North Carolina) have conducted a study that found that pregnant and lactating women experience a drop in immunity in response to their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Its findings are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
According to the researchers, pregnant and lactating women experienced problems after their first dose of the vaccine from Moderna and the drug from Pfizer and BioNTech - decreased antibody titers and an overall weaker immune response compared to women who had not recently become pregnant. However, there were minimal differences between non-pregnant, breastfeeding, and pregnant women after they were fully vaccinated. In addition, breastfeeding women had an increased number of NK cells, which are responsible for innate immune function, among other things.
Each of the lactating and pregnant women who participated in the study had been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the last trimester, which the scientists believe may have contributed to the reduced immune response after the first dose of the drug. "These results imply that vaccination earlier in pregnancy and a booster dose later would help maximize antibody transmission through the placenta and breast milk," the scientists said.
Previously, researchers at the University Hospital of Liège in Belgium said that adults and children are equally susceptible to COVID-19 infection, but children are nearly four times more likely to carry the coronavirus asymptomatically. Adults often transmit the virus to other peers, while children are infected by other children.