Two pediatricians from Florida believe the first known baby with COVID-19 antibodies was born in late January, WPBF reports.
Dr. Paul Gilbert and Dr. Chad Rudnick, of Palm Beach County, said the unidentified woman is a front-line healthcare worker, who was given the first dose of the Moderna vaccine while she was 36 weeks pregnant. When she delivered the baby three weeks later, a blood sample was taken from the umbilical cord to see if the mother’s antibodies had been passed to the infant.
The doctors conducted the blood test to see if the COVID-19 vaccine acted similarly to other vaccines administered during pregnancy. “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. Rudnick said.
Dr. Rudnick and Dr. Gilbert note in their findings, which were published in medRxiv, that further testing is needed to determine how long these antibodies last, and how many antibodies are needed to offer sustained protection against the virus. A study in Isreal appears to be ahead of the curve in addressing this question. According to Reuters, researchers from Jerusalem’s Hadassah- University Medical Center found antibodies in the babies of all 20 women who were given both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine during their third trimester of pregnancy.
The study points out that these findings represent a small sample size, but researchers hope to delve deeper to try and figure out if other stages of pregnancy impact the vaccine’s efficacy, and whether other available vaccines offer different results. Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced last month that they are launching an 4,000-volunteer international study to evaluate the effects of the vaccine on healthy pregnant women.