Florida woman gives birth to first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodies

pharmafile | March 18, 2021 | News story | |  COVID-19, Moderna, Vaccine 

A woman from Florida has given birth to the first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodies, according to findings recently published by US paediatricians, Dr Paul Gilbert and Dr Chad Rudnick.

The woman was administered with the Moderna vaccine 36 weeks into her pregnancy, giving birth to a healthy baby girl three weeks later in January.

DNA tests were run on a cord blood sample which then detected the COVID-19 antibodies, becoming the first known case following vaccination.

Dr Chad Rudnick said on WPTV: “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.”

“Further studies have to determine how long this protection will 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 Rudnick described the study as an “opportunity study” as the woman involved was a frontline healthcare worker and was able to receive her vaccine at the early stages of vaccination rollout in the US.

However, following natural COVID-19 infection the passage of antibodies has been found to be lower than expected, which may indicate babies born to vaccinated mothers could remain at risk of infection.

Nevertheless, the fact that detectable antibodies have been found after only a single dose of the Moderna vaccine indicates there is potential for protection and infection risk reduction from COVID-19 with maternal vaccination.

In their report Dr Gilbert and Dr Rudnick said: “There is a significant and urgent need for research regarding safety and efficacy of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy.”

“We urge other investigators to create pregnancy and breastfeeding registries, as well as conduct efficacy and safety studies of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant and breastfeeding woman and their offspring.”

The findings have been published in a pre-print case report on medRxiv, and have yet to be peer reviewed.

Kat Jenkins 

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