DNA ILLUSTRATIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DNA ILLUSTRATIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist representation of maternal immunization, which confers immunity to the fetus through passive maternal antibodies. The placenta is shown as the bridge between the mother and fetus. The soft purple glow from the fetal side of the placenta represents the conferred immunity from the maternal vaccine (shown as antigens). Universal maternal vaccination would protect the neonate for the first 3 to 6 months of life. This is a shift in thinking as vaccines for infants are not effective until 6 months of age.
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