Any healthy pregnancy in humans lasts for around forty weeks. Typically, Preterm birth increases the dangers of infant deaths and other lasting health issues.
Infections arising from SARS-CoV-2 during the 3rd trimester have been associated recently with the rising dangers of preterm birth. Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 are known to be effective and safe during pregnancy. But whether they rescue the risks associated with preterm birth has not really been clear.
In a new study funded by NIH, Dr. Jenna Nobles from the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Florencia Torche from Stanford University have examined this question more deeply.
They examined baby births between 2014 and 2023 in hospitals in California. Starting in June 2020, the state was able to track COVID testing on mom-to-be upon admission. This gave a highly correct estimate of infections among mothers and laborers in the hospitals, thanks to universal testing.
On 5th December 2023, results were released in the National Academy of Sciences’s issue of Proceedings.
The research professionals were able to analyze babies to find out the impact of COVID-19 infections. This particular approach does account for different factors that might have affected the dangers associated with preterm birth, like personal risk, ethnicity, race, and poverty.
The analysis did show that COVID-19 infections were able to increase the dangers associated with preterm birth from 7.1 to 8.3% between July 2020 and February 2023. This rise in danger is similar to the ones witnessed from huge environmental exposure, like three weeks of exposure to massively intensive wildfire smoke.
As the harmful SARS-CoV-2 keeps mutating people, updated versions of booster shots are likely needed to keep the immunity banner flying high. Currently, booster intake in pregnant women is falling far behind. Noble did say in this context, “We already know there is very little evidence of adverse effects of vaccination on fetal development. The results here are compelling evidence that what will actually harm the fetus is not getting vaccinated. By increasing immunity faster, early vaccination uptake likely prevented thousands of preterm births in the U.S.”
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