Disclaimer: this is also the official announcement of my second pregnancy!
Since the pandemic started, I have always been pretty scared of getting COVID because I have asthma and I have a toddler.
When I was granted the opportunity of getting the COVID vaccine, I immediately took the opportunity. In February 2021 I got my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. In May 2021 I got my second dose of it.
The vaccine brought me peace of mind during the summer of 2021, but then autumn came and the fourth wave with it. My partner and I wanted a second child and therefore my fear of getting COVID grew.
In November 2021 I got both the booster dose (thank you, Pfizer!) and the flu shot and just a few days later I became pregnant.
Nowadays (March 2022) restrictions have been or are to be lifted in almost all Europe and I spent all February and March being very worried about the fact that I was entering in the second trimester of my pregnancy and the booster dose was no longer protecting me.
But then, for the fourth time during this school year, my daughter’s childcare closed because of COVID cases. Until then, we have been very lucky and our daughter never got COVID, but this time she developed a fever. The next day she tested positive and our isolation started. Her symptoms were very mild: she just had a fever for 24 hours and a mild cough. The following day I tested positive, too.
My symptoms were not as mild as hers: I had a fever for 24 hours, headache and aching bones for days, a severe cough. I stayed positive for 13 days and now that I am negative, I still have some cough and brain fog.
I am so grateful that I was vaccinated and boosted, I don’t want to even start thinking what would have happened to me without the vaccine(s).
Last month, Halasa and collaborators published an interesting article on effectiveness of maternal vaccination against COVID-19 hospitalization among infants 6 months of age.
In the study, maternal vaccination status was categorized as 1) unvaccinated (mothers who did not receive COVID-19 vaccine before their infants’ hospitalization) or 2) vaccinated (mothers who completed their 2-dose primary mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine series during pregnancy ≥14 days before delivery).
15% of hospitalized infants were critically ill and received life support during hospitalization, 88% of them had mothers who were unvaccinated.
Among vaccinated mothers, the effectiveness of vaccination against infant hospitalization was evaluated. The effectiveness of completion of the primary COVID-19 vaccine series early (first 20 weeks) was 32%, while later in pregnancy (21 weeks through 14 days before delivery) was 80%.
One month before (in January) Stock and collaborators came to similar conclusions analyzing the data of vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women in Scotland. Between 8 December 2020 and 31 October 2021, 25,917 COVID-19 vaccinations were given to 18,457 pregnant women.
Only 32.3% of women giving birth in October 2021 had two doses of vaccine, compared to 77.4% in all women. The perinatal mortality rate for women who gave birth within a month of a COVID-19 diagnosis was 22.6 per 1,000 births.
98% of COVID-associated-admissions, as well as all baby deaths, occurred in pregnant women who were unvaccinated at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis.
To conclude, get your COVID vaccine. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you will be saving your life as well as your child’s life!
Halasa et al., “Effectiveness of Maternal Vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine During Pregnancy Against COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization in Infants Aged <6 Months — 17 States, July 2021–January 2022”, 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7107e3.htm
Stock et al., “SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination rates in pregnant women in Scotland”, 2022, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01666-2