Experts say COVID-19 vaccines are effective among pregnant and lactating women. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology on Thursday claimed these women can also pass on their protective antibodies to their newborns.

The research looked at 131 women who received either the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine and was conducted between December 17, 2020, and March 2, 2021. Eighty-four of the women were pregnant, 31 were breastfeeding, and 16 were unpregnant.

In contrast to non-pregnant mothers, the vaccines produced similar amounts of antibody. Researchers claimed that these levels were "staggeringly higher" than those caused by a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.

Breast milk and the placenta were used to test the antibodies passed down to their infants. However, further research is needed to see how long these antibodies last in their offspring.

Dr. Andrea Edlow, a study co-author, said in an interview with NBC's "TODAY" show that it was "great news" that their research provided an "evidence-based therapy around the vaccine."

Researchers used the V-safe method, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to monitor study participants' reactions to the vaccine. Researchers found no proof that pregnant and lactating women experienced more side effects than the general population.

Researchers found increased IgA antibodies in pregnant women who received the Moderna vaccine. Women vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna had similar antibody levels. They believe that this form of antibody would be more effectively passed on to their newborns.

They believe that these results would assist policymakers in deciding which vaccinations are appropriate for pregnant women.

Previous research has shown that mRNA vaccines generate antibodies in pregnant women passed on to their babies, but this is the most extensive report on vaccines for pregnant women to date. Pregnant and lactating women were excluded from clinical trials of vaccines.

Researchers and healthcare professionals, pregnant women, and new mothers took it upon themselves to spread the word. Experts said there was no evidence available to help pregnant women make educated decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the CDC, expectant mothers who have COVID-19 are at high risk of developing a severe illness and may have a greater chance of having a baby born prematurely. As of March 22, the CDC plans to use a V-safe pregnancy registry for its planned research, which will target approximately 3,612 expectant mothers.

The initiative is important, according to researchers, because it will protect not only the mother but also her newborn.

MISSION, TEXAS - MARCH 23: An asylum seeker from Honduras, traveling with her three children while 8 months pregnant, pauses after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on March 23, 2021 near Mission, Texas. A surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors is overwhelming border detention facilities in south Texas' Rio Grande Valley. John Moore/Getty Images

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