logos of partners - CHEO, BORN, UBC, CITF, Women's Health Research Institute, VSRG

BORN Ontario in partnership with researchers throughout the province will soon be evaluating the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

New funding from the federal COVID-19 Immunity Task Force will support this important evaluation over the next one to two years. By linking the BORN Ontario Registry with the Ontario Ministry of Health's vaccination data (COVaxON), a team of researchers with expertise in obstetrics, pediatrics, vaccination, infectious disease, and epidemiology will:

  • evaluate maternal and newborn health outcomes among those vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, compared with unvaccinated pregnant individuals;
  • assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy against lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection; and
  • determine the number and characteristics of individuals receiving COVID-19 vaccine pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, or in the early postpartum period.

“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. Deshayne Fell, Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa. “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.”

Pregnant individuals are considered a high-risk population for COVID-19 complications, based on higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU admission, compared with non-pregnant people. Many have already received a COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy to guard against these risks, but more data are needed to evaluate vaccine safety and effectiveness across the population.  

This project is supported by funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, through the Vaccine Surveillance Reference group and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

For more information, please check out the Press Release May 2021