- A baby in Florida may be the first case to have COVID-19 antibodies from his mother’s vaccine.
- COVID-positive mothers can also pass antibodies to their babies in utero.
- More research is needed on vaccines during pregnancy.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
A baby girl born three weeks after her mother received Moderna’s first dose of COVID-19 vaccine has antibodies to the virus, a February pre-print article reported.
After being vaccinated, the mother, a healthcare worker in Florida, developed COVID-19 antibodies.
Tests revealed that these antibodies crossed the placenta to provide potential protection for her unborn child, according to the authors at Florida Atlantic University.
While previous reports have shown how mothers who have had COVID-19 can deliver babies with antibodies, the authors believe theirs is the first to record how vaccines during pregnancy can do the same.
It is not known how protective or long-lasting the antibodies are
Authors Dr Paul Gilbert and Dr Chad Rudnick called their report a ‘study of opportunity’ because they were able to find and track a pregnant person who never tested positive for COVID but received the vaccine. late in pregnancy and early to come out.
When the baby – “a vigorous, healthy, full-term girl,” according to the article – was born, doctors tested her cord blood for antibodies made from the vaccine, along with other typical tests like the blood group.
They were able to detect COVID-19 IgG antibodies (the type that indicates recovery), which suggests the baby has some protection against the virus, although its duration or duration is unclear. Future research should indicate whether there is an ideal time for a pregnant person to be vaccinated to maximize protection against the virus for their child.
The authors say their results were expected based on what is known about how the vaccine works and others recommended during pregnancy such as the flu shot.
Previous research has shown COVID-19 antibodies appear to cross the placenta
Previous studies have suggested that COVID-positive mothers can pass IgG antibodies against the virus to their fetuses in utero.
A March 2020 article of six women who tested positive for the virus during childbirth, for example, found that five had elevated levels of IgG antibodies even though none had COVID-19.
An October case report also describes an infant born to a mother with asymptomatic COVID-19 who had IgG antibodies but a negative COVID test, demonstrating “passive immunity” across the placenta, the authors write.
And, in November, a woman in Singapore who had COVID-19 in March 2020 gave birth to a baby who has antibodies that appear to protect against the virus.
Nonetheless, more research is needed to understand how the severity of the disease affects antibody levels, how the timing of infection during pregnancy plays a role, and how strong and lasting babies’ presumed immunity is.
More research is needed on vaccinations in pregnant women, which were excluded from early clinical trials. While injections should be safe during pregnancy and no increase in complications has been reported, it will take time for in-depth trial data to be collected and published.
Until then, most professional and government organizations encourage pregnant women to make a decision that is right for them, based on their profession, transmission rates in their community, underlying health conditions, and other factors.
Whatever the choice, “you should feel like your decision is being honored,” Dr Jessica Madden, a pediatrician and neonatologist who serves as Aeroflow Breastpumps’ medical director, previously told Insider.