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Newborn and early infant outcomes following maternal COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy


Importance — The study team previously showed that maternal mRNA COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy confers protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19–related hospital admission in newborns and young infants. In this study, the study team evaluated newborn and early infant safety outcomes following maternal messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, for which there is limited comparative epidemiological evidence.

Objective — To determine if maternal mRNA COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is associated with adverse newborn and early infant outcomes.

Design, Setting, and Participants — This population-based retrospective cohort study took place in Ontario, Canada, using multiple linked health administrative databases. Singleton live births with an expected delivery date between May 1, 2021, and September 2, 2022, were included. Data were analyzed from January 2023 through March 2023.

Exposure — Maternal mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (1 or more doses) during pregnancy.

Main Outcomes and Measures — Severe neonatal morbidity (SNM), neonatal death, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, neonatal readmission, and hospital admission up to 6 months of age. The study team calculated inverse probability of treatment weighted risk ratios (RRs) and fit weighted Cox proportional hazards regression models comparing outcomes in infants of mothers who received COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy with those who received no COVID-19 vaccine doses before delivery.

Results — In total, 142 006 infants (72 595 male [51%]; mean [SD] gestational age at birth, 38.7 [1.7] weeks) were included; 85 670 were exposed to 1 or more COVID-19 vaccine doses in utero (60%). Infants of vaccinated mothers had lower risks of SNM (vaccine exposed 7.3% vs vaccine unexposed 8.3%; adjusted RR [aRR], 0.86; 95% CI, 0.83-0.90), neonatal death (0.09% vs 0.16%; aRR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.33-0.65), and NICU admission (11.4% vs 13.1%; aRR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.83-0.89). There was no association between maternal vaccination during pregnancy and neonatal readmission (5.5% vs 5.1%; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.98-1.09) or 6-month hospital admission (8.4% vs 8.1%; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI,

Conclusions and Relevance — In this population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada, maternal mRNA COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy was associated with lower risks of SNM, neonatal death, and NICU admission. In addition, neonatal and 6-month readmissions were not increased in infants of mothers vaccinated during pregnancy.



Jorgensen S, Drover S, Fell D, Austin P, D’Souza R, Guttmann A, Buchan S, Wilson S, Nasreen S, Schwartz K, Tadrous M, Wilson K, Kwong J. JAMA Pediatr. 2023; Oct 23 [Epub ahead of print].

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