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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Vaccinated US mother gives birth to first newborn with ‘Covid antibodies’

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The mother, a frontline worker, took the Moderna vaccine while pregnant and gave birth to the first known baby in the world born with Covid antibodies.

At 36 weeks pregnant, a frontline healthcare worker received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, only to give birth three weeks later to the first known baby born with Covid-19 antibodies, according to reports.

Doctors Paul Gilbert and Chad Rudnick documented the details of their findings in a written report this month, however, they have to be reviewed by researchers, according to international sources.

They ran some tests to see if the mother’s antibodies were passed to the baby, which usually is the case when other vaccines are given during pregnancy.

Researchers analysed blood from the new born’s umbilical cord only to find antibodies “were detected … at time of delivery”, their report said, noting there is therefore “potential for protection and infection risk reduction from Sars-CoV-2 with maternal vaccination.

“To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination,” Gilbert, told the West Palm Beach ABC affiliate. 

After receiving the first dose of the Moderna vaccine in January, the mother gave birth to a “vigorous, healthy” girl three weeks later in Florida, US.

Read also: Vaccine Hesitancy: Why ‘anti-vaxxers’ refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19

The birth of the baby with Covid-19 antibodies is the first such case since the pandemic erupted in 2020. However, the report made it clear 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 women and their offspring,” the report said.

“Further studies have to determine how long this protection will last. They have to determine at what level of protection or how many antibodies a baby needs to have circulating in order to give them protection,” according to the report. 

In Qatar, authorities said the decision to vaccinate pregnant women “will be made on a case-by-case basis. The physician will decide if the benefit of vaccinating the woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks. For example, if the woman has a healthy pregnancy with limited risk of exposure, it is recommended to postpone the vaccination.”

However, earlier this month, health officials at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) assured pregnant women in Qatar that there is no indication that the Covid vaccine is unsafe during pregnancy, whether for the mother or the fetus.

In fact, infection during pregnancy may lead to severe complications, the doctors said.

Speaking to Doha News, public health professional, Maha El-Akoum said the results in Florida offer hope.

“While more research is needed to confirm the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines and their predicted potential for protection against the virus for expecting mothers and their newborns, these findings offer new hope for this vulnerable population during this global crisis,” El Akoum said.


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