Boosting maternal and neonatal anti–SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity using a third mRNA vaccine dose

Adva Cahen-Peretz, Lilah Tsaitlin-Mor, Hadas Allouche Kam, Racheli Frenkel, Maor Kabessa, Sarah M. Cohen, Michal Lipschuetz, Esther Oiknine-Djian, Sapir Lianski, Debra Goldman-Wohl, Asnat Walfisch, Michal Kovo, Michal Neeman, Dana G. Wolf, Simcha Yagel, Ofer Beharier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. To minimize COVID-19 pandemic burden and spread, 3-dose vaccination campaigns commenced worldwide. Since patients who are pregnant are at increased risk for severe disease, they were recently included in that policy, despite the lack of available evidence regarding the impact of a third boosting dose during pregnancy, underscoring the urgent need for relevant data. We aimed to characterize the effect of the third boosting dose of mRNA Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine in pregnancy. METHODS. We performed a prospective cohort study of anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers (n = 213) upon delivery in maternal and cord blood of naive fully vaccinated parturients who received a third dose (n = 86) as compared with 2-dose recipients (n = 127). RESULTS. We found a robust surge in maternal and cord blood levels of anti–SARS-CoV-2 titers at the time of delivery, when comparing pregnancies in which the mother received a third boosting dose with 2-dose recipients. The effect of the third boosting dose remained significant when controlling for the trimester of last exposure, suggesting additive immunity extends beyond that obtained after the second dose. Milder side effects were reported following the third dose, as compared with the second vaccine dose, among the fully vaccinated group. CONCLUSION. The third boosting dose of mRNA Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine augmented maternal and neonatal immunity with mild side effects. These data provide evidence to bolster clinical and public health guidance, reassure patients, and increase vaccine uptake among patients who are pregnant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere158646
JournalJCI insight
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Cahen-Peretz et al. This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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