Doctors potentially discovered the first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodies after a pregnant woman gave birth after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The unnamed baby girl was born in the sunshine state, in Palm Beach County, Florida, in late January.
This is an exciting and potentially monumental discovery by doctors regarding the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women and infants.
A baby born in Palm Beach County, Florida could be the first baby born with COVID-19 antibodies, opening many doors of possibility.
“To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination,” Dr. Paul Gilbert told WPBF.
The doctor explained that the mother is a frontline healthcare worker who was given the Moderna vaccine. She was 36 weeks pregnant at the time of vaccination.
After the baby girl was born, doctors extracted a blood sample from the umbilical cord to examine blood to discover if antibodies from the vaccine had been passed from mother to daughter. Dr. Gilbert said doctors were curious as other vaccine antibodies have been known to pass from mother to child.
After examining the blood, a test revealed that the infant did indeed have the antibodies. This might be the first known case of this for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s not unheard of.
A recent study conducted in Israel found that vaccine antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine could pass between a mother and her unborn child.
Researchers from Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Medical Center said 20 pregnant women were given both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in February, during their third trimester, and antibodies were detected in all 20 women and in their babies. The antibodies traveled by placental transfer.
“Our findings highlight that vaccination of pregnant women may provide maternal and neonatal protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the research said, but its authors cautioned that the size of the study was small and said further analysis would be necessary.
The Israeli study did not disclose whether the samples were taken when babies were in utero. Doctors in Florida claim that their case is the first example of child have antibodies following the mother being vaccinated.
Findings from the doctors in Florida as well as those from their colleagues in Israel were published on medRxiv, a home for medical researchers to publish non-peer-reviewed research. It acts as a pre-print server for medical studies.
“Further studies have to determine how long will this protection last. 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,” Dr. Chad Rudnick, another doctor working on the Florida case, said.
Last month, Pfizer-BioNTech said it planned to enroll 4,000 pregnant women into a clinical trial to study the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in pregnant individuals. The pharmaceutical giant said it would monitor many factors with the main one being if a woman who received the vaccine suffers a miscarriage.
“From everything that we’re seeing so far from pregnant women who’ve had the vaccine, there are no red flags,” said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes.
These are all positive developments on our journey to better understand the effects of the vaccine on pregnant women and unborn babies. Of all the places for the antibodies to be found in this unique way, Florida would not have been our first guess, however, we are very glad that doctors there are helping to study it further for the benefit of expecting parents around the world!
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