Florida woman gives birth to 1st known baby with COVID-19 antibodies, doctors say

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A baby born in Florida has reportedly become the first in the world to be born with COVID-19 antibodies after her mother was given the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant.

WPBF reports the unidentified baby girl was born in late January in Palm Beach County.

“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 the news station.

Gilbert and Dr. Chad Rudnick said the child’s mother was a frontline health care worker who was given the Moderna vaccine at 36 weeks pregnant.

After the child was born, doctors took a blood sample from her umbilical cord, and tested the baby’s cord to see if the antibodies in the mother passed to the baby, which is something they’ve seen happen with other vaccines given during pregnancy, Gilbert said.

The blood test revealed she had the COVID-19 antibodies.

According to a new study in Israel, pregnant women who are vaccinated against the virus could pass along protection to their babies.

Researchers from Jerusalem’s Hadassah- University Medical Center said 20 women were given both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in February, during their third trimester of pregnancy, and antibodies were detected in all 20 women and in their babies, through placental transfer.

“Our findings highlight that vaccination of pregnant women may provide maternal and neonatal protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the study said, but authors noted the small size of the study and said further research would be necessary.

Gilbert and Rudnick’s findings and research from Hadassah- University Medical Center were both published in medRxiv, a website for unpublished research manuscripts that have not been peer-reviewed.

Gilbert and Rudnick say newborns born to vaccinated mothers could still be at risk for COVID-19 infection.

“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,” Rudnick said.

Last month, Pfizer-BioNTech said it would enroll about 4,000 pregnant women in a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant woman. The women will be monitored for negative side effects, including miscarriage.

“From everything that we’re seeing so far from pregnant women who’ve had the vaccine, there are no red flags,” Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, said.

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