Vaccinated Woman Gives Birth to First Baby Known to Have Covid19 Antibodies
A U.S. woman who was 36 weeks pregnant when she received her first dose of a Covid19 vaccine gave birth three weeks later to a healthy baby who carries Covid19 antibodies, the first documented case of immunity against Covid19 being passed from mother to child via maternal vaccination. The findings are reported in a preprint article that has yet to be confirmed via peer-review.
The woman, a frontline health worker, received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine in January. Analysis of cord blood, the same blood in the baby’s veins, determined “antibodies … were detected to SARS-CoV-2.” The presence of antibodies in cord blood has been documented in response to other vaccines administered during pregnancy, such as the flu and Tdap vaccines. “Thus, there is potential for protection and infection risk reduction from SARS-CoV-2 with maternal vaccination,” the preprint paper concludes.
“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,” Dr. Paul Rudnick, one of the article’s authors, told the local ABC station.
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40 more such cases have been reported in Israel, where a team at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem analyzed the cord blood of babies born to mothers vaccinated with both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot in their third trimesters. All babies had Covid19 antibodies in their blood, a finding reported in another preprint article submitted a month after the case in the U.S.
“It underscores the importance of vaccinating pregnant women, and the benefits of doing so,” Professor Dana Wolf, head of the Center’s virology department, told the Times of Israel.
Leaders of both research efforts, however, stress that while their findings are hopeful, much remains unknown.
“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.
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