A woman who received COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been delivered of a female baby who has the virus antibodies.
The mother, a frontline healthcare worker in South Florida, received her first Moderna dose in January, at 36 weeks pregnant.
It is the first reported case of its kind, according to the two paediatricians who took delivery of the baby.
The doctors presented their finding in a preprint article, meaning this claim has yet to be peer-reviewed. It is a new medical research that has yet to be evaluated, “and so should not be used to guide clinical practice,” study authors Paul Gilbert and Chad Rudnick, both of the Florida Atlantic University, said.
In the case presentation, the authors wrote, “A vigorous, healthy, full-term female was born to a COVID-19 naïve mother who had received a single dose of mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 three weeks prior to delivery.
“Cord blood antibodies (IgG) were detected to the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 at time of delivery.”
In drawing their conclusion, the physicians wrote, “We report the first known case of an infant with SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies detectable in cord blood after maternal vaccination.”
Talking about their discovery, lead study author Gilbert states, “To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination.
“We tested the baby’s cord to see if the antibodies in the mother passed to the baby, which is something we see happen with other vaccines given during pregnancy.”
The researchers, however, noted that further research is needed to determine whether infants are protected by these antibodies.
“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.
“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,” Rudnick added, saying, “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.”
Medical Dictionary online says an antibody is a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens.
“Examples of antigens include microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals. Each type of antibody is unique and defends the body against one specific type of antigen,.” MedLine says.
Experts say antibodies are secreted into the blood and mucosa, where they bind to and inactivate foreign substances such as pathogens and toxins (neutralization).
Antibodies activate the complement system to destroy bacterial cells by lysis (punching holes in the cell wall).