Coronavirus disease and vaccination during pregnancy and childbirth: a review of the Israeli perspective and experience

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2022 Dec;35(25):7794-7805. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2021.1937110. Epub 2021 Jun 15.


Purpose of the study: To discuss selected aspects of our local and national experience in treating and vaccinating pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.Materials and methods: A comprehensive, retrospective review of COVID-19 parturients in our center as well as a detailed literature review of several aspects from the groundbreaking research done in Israel to investigate the direct obstetrical impact of COVID-19, indirect effect of the lockdown measures and the vaccination effort among pregnant women.Results: The study shows our local and national experience in treating COVID-19 in pregnancy and the maternal and neonatal impact of vaccination in nationwide scale. We treated our first COVID-19 pregnant patient on April 4th, 2020 reaching a total of 193 pregnant women, with PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 by 8th March 2021. Several studies from Israel have evaluated pregnancy-related outcomes of COVID-19, be it maternal, obstetrical or neonatal complications. We suggest that only in a small subset of severely ill mothers, intubated and otherwise respiratory or hemodynamically unstable, an emergency cesarean delivery should be considered, factoring gestational age, in order to assist maternal ventilation and circulation, as well as to avoid possible secondary fetal compromise due the maternal deterioration.In addition, there is conflicting evidence as to the price of lockdown on obstetrical outcomes, i.e., not the direct medical impact of the virus, but rather the impact of the measures to contain its spread - mainly lockdowns, which has been a major tool in Israel to combat COVID-19.Finally, we demonstrate to overall safety and efficacy of vaccination pregnant women and the beneficial impact on pregnancy outcome and neonatal gain of protecting antibodies.Conclusion: The data emerging from Israel is overall reassuring, as for the association of COVID-19 with adverse pregnancy outcome and the possible protective effect of the vaccinations. Further, long term studies, should be conducted to answer the long-term maternal outcomes, as well and neonatal prognosis.

Keywords: COVID; Israel; breastfeeding; childbirth; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination