Baby born with Covid antibodies after mum receives first vaccine

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A baby girl born three weeks after her mother received the first dose of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has been born with antibodies against the virus.

The mother, who is a front line healthcare worker in Florida, received the vaccination 36 weeks into her pregnancy and the baby was born “healthy and full term” at 39 weeks.

According to a preprint report by MedRxiv in February, after the mother received her first injection she developed Covid-19 antibodies. Testing revealed those antibodies passed through the placenta to her future child.

A stock image of a baby's feet.
A baby girl born three weeks after her mother received the first dose of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has been born with antibodies against the virus. Source: Getty Images

Previous reports have shown mothers who’ve had Covid-19 can deliver babies with antibodies.

But authors of the report believe this is the first known case of an infant born with the antibodies after a maternal vaccination.

In March last year a research letter published by medical journal JAMA Network revealed five of six women who tested positive for the virus at delivery had elevated levels of IgG antibodies even though none had Covid-19.

More research is needed to understand how severity of illness affects antibody levels, how time of infection during pregnancy plays a role, and how strong and long-lasting babies’ presumed immunity is.

Australia's health authorities don't currently recommend pregnant woman have the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and suggest waiting until after pregnancy to get the jab.

However the shots are expected to be safe in pregnancy and no increase in complications have been reported.

It will take time for thorough trial data to be collected and published.

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