Florida woman who was vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy gives birth to first-known baby in the US with antibodies against the infection
- The unnamed woman, who is a frontline healthcare worker, received one dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine when she was 36 weeks pregnant
- Three weeks later, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, who was tested to see if she had antibodies
- Doctors found the baby had IgG antibodies, proteins that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain in the body for months or years
- The new mother received her second dose during the post-partum period in keeping with the 28-day period recommended for the Moderna vaccine
A Florida mother has become the first woman in the U.S. to give birth to a baby known to be born with COVID-19 antibodies.
The unnamed woman, from Palm Beach County, received one dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine a few weeks before giving birth.
In January, the baby was found to have antibodies against the infection that can typically remain in the body for several years.
‘To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination,’ pediatrician Paul Gilbert told local station WPBF.
A Florida mother, who received one dose of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, gave birth to the first baby in the U.S. known to be born with COVID-19 antibodies (file image)
Past studies have shown that pregnant women who are vaccinated against the flu and TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) pass antibodies through the placenta to their babies.
While it would be expected to hold true for the COVID-19 vaccine, research has been limited on the subject.
When vaccines for coronavirus first started to be rolled out, the World Health Organization warned that they should should not be used on pregnant women.
Later, the organization walked back its advice and said vaccines can be administered in expectant mothers safely.
At a press briefing last month, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said there no ‘red flags’ after at least 20,000 pregnant women were vaccinated against COVID-19.
In the new pre-print article, the authors say the mother, who is a frontline healthcare worker, was 36 weeks pregnant when she received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Three weeks later, in late January, the woman gave birth to a healthy, baby girl, and doctors took blood samples to see if the mother had passed antibodies to her newborn.
According to Gilbert, this is something ‘we see happen with other vaccines given during pregnancy.’
Tests showed the infant had IgG antibodies, proteins that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered.
The authors say their study has been submitted to a journal for peer review and is currently awaiting publication.
‘This is one small case in what will be thousands and thousands of babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated over the next several months,’ the woman’s other pediatrician, Chad Rudnick, told WPBF.
The woman received her second dose after giving birth in keep with the 28-day recommended period for the Moderna vaccine.
The pediatricians say more studies are needed to determine how long neutralizing antibodies remain in a baby’s body for.
The pre-print article also indicates that the level of antibodies in the baby was quite low, which means newborns may be at risk for infection with the virus.
‘Further studies have to determine how long will this protection last,’ Rudnick told WPBF.
‘They have to determine at what level of protection or how many antibodies does a baby need to have circulating in order to give them protection/’