Israeli Study: Pregnant Women SHOULD be Vacciated!

By Shlomo Maital   

  Should pregnant women be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine?

  A small-scale study done in Israel suggests the answer is unequivocal:  Yes!  The immunity gained by the mother creates antibodies that also protect the fetus, and newborn through breast milk, the study shows.

  Here are the results, just out, according to the Times of Israel website:

    “10 lactating women had antibodies in milk after 1st dose, with level rising a week after 2nd; scientists call for inoculation of breastfeeding women to protect their babies.  A small-scale study conducted in Israel has found coronavirus antibodies in the breastmilk of mothers vaccinated against COVID-19.    Ten lactating mothers who were members of the medical staff at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital and were vaccinated agreed to give samples of their breastmilk.  All of the samples were found to have coronavirus antibodies after one vaccine dose, with the levels increasing a week after the second dose.  The researchers found that the formation of antibodies in milk and blood is synchronized and that the antibodies that develop in breastmilk have the ability to neutralize and block the connection between the virus and the receptor on the cell, which is key to the vaccine’s ability to prevent disease.  Prof. Ariel Many, one of the leaders of the study, which was held jointly with Tel Aviv University, told the Kan public broadcaster that the results were significant enough to confirm the importance of vaccinating breastfeeding women in the hope that it might also help protect their children.

     “The meaning [of the study] is not entirely clear but it is clear that the immune response is good enough for antibodies to be transferred to the breastmilk and we know from other vaccines that there is an increase in antibodies in breastmilk,” Many said. “The antibodies were most likely absorbed in the digestive tract and this may lead to some protection for infants.”

   Understandably, pregnant women are very cautious about vaccination and medication in general.  This is wise.  But in the complex risk-benefit tradeoff, it seems clear that it is advisable for expectant women to be vaccinated.