COVID in babies: Doctors say health care worker mom passed COVID antibodies to baby during pregnancy

MIAMI — South Florida doctors say a health care worker who received a COVID vaccine while she was pregnant passed those antibodies to her newborn.

“To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination,” said Dr. Paul Gilbert, a pediatrician.

According to the doctors, a local frontline health care worker was 36 weeks pregnant when she was given the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The baby girl was born three weeks later in late January and a blood sample was taken.

“We tested the baby’s cord blood, or the baby’s blood, to see if the antibodies in the mother passed to the baby, which is something we see happen with other vaccines given during pregnancy,” said Dr. Gilbert.

MORE | Moderna to test COVID-19 vaccine on babies, young children

The results showed the baby had the COVID-19 antibodies.

Dr. Chad Rudnick said this is significant in the fight to protect children from COVID.

“This is one small case in what will be thousands and thousands of babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated of the next several months,” the pediatrician said.

But the paper published by the local pediatricians said there are some factors that indicate that newborns born to vaccinated mothers will remain at risk for infection.

“Further studies have to determine how long will 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 said.

The doctors say their paper has been accepted for publication as well, and they are just waiting for the journal to put it on to their site.

Scientists are still learning about how the vaccine interacts with those who are pregnant.

Some pharmaceutical companies have started to include pregnant women in their studies of the vaccine.

MORE | People with COVID antibodies may have virus protection, study says

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