Canadian researchers studying effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy

Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Pregnant individual wearing mask

Dr. Deshayne Fell of CHEO Research Institute and uOttawa leads Ontario portion by studying BORN baby registry and province’s vaccination registry

Dr. Deshayne Fell, Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine

While pregnant or breastfeeding individuals were excluded from the initial mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 clinical trials, recent real-world evidence is showing that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy. The Government of Canada, through its COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) and Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group (VSRG), is investing approximately $1.3 million for two Canadian research teams – including one from the CHEO Research Institute and the University of Ottawa – to further evaluate vaccine safety and effectiveness in pregnant people.

Dr. Deshayne Fell is leading a study in Ontario that will link information collected from the Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario Registry, which collects data from every baby born in Ontario, with the province’s vaccination registry from the Ontario Ministry of Health (COVaxON).

“We will be monitoring the health of mothers and their babies, comparing individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, or just before, with those who did not,” explains study lead researcher Dr. Fell, a Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at uOttawa. “We will also assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy by looking at the number of people who have been infected by SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

 

  • This study will link information from the BORN Ontario Birth Registry, in which every baby born in Ontario is registered, with the province’s vaccination registry from the Ontario Ministry of Health (COVaxON).
  • Researchers will monitor the health outcomes of mothers and their babies, comparing individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, or just before, with those who did not.
  • The study will also assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy by looking at the number of people who subsequently get a lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection.
  • Although the early evidence to date on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant populations has not identified any safety concerns, it is critically important to monitor the health of mothers and babies following COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy during this public health emergency. The findings from this study will help to fully inform pregnant people, their care providers, and public health policymakers.


For media enquiries:
Paul Logothetis
Media Relations Agent
Cell: 613.863.7221
plogothe@uottawa.ca

 

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