An American healthcare worker who was at the forefront of the Florida pandemic gave birth to a baby with antibodies to Covid-19.
The mother was vaccinated with the first dose of Moderna’s vaccine in late January when she was 36 weeks pregnant. When she gave birth to a child three weeks later, the baby’s blood tests showed that she already had antibodies to the disease.
The details of the discovery are described in an article that was pre-published on the MedRxiv platform and is now awaiting peer review to confirm whether this is the first known case of its kind as a pediatrician after birth.
In the article, doctors say they analyzed a sample of the umbilical cord blood from the baby who was born “healthy and strong” and that the antibodies were “detected at the time of delivery.”
“We have shown that anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are detectable in a newborn’s umbilical cord blood sample after a single dose of the Moderna vaccine,” the article reads. “Therefore, there is the potential for protecting and reducing the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 that can be achieved by vaccinating mothers.”
However, the study’s authors say these data do not provide any indication of when is the ideal time to vaccinate pregnant women. They also stress that more studies will be needed to find out how much neutralizing antibodies are present in babies born to mothers who have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 and who have been vaccinated before delivery.
“Influenza A vaccination of the mother has been well studied in terms of safety and effectiveness in protecting the newborn through the passage of antibodies across the placenta. Similar protection would be expected after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. We urge other researchers to conduct studies on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines against Covid-19 in pregnant women and their babies, “pediatricians say, adding that this is a” significant need “right now.
Pregnant women and children are not yet included in the Portuguese vaccination schedule against Covid-19 as there is not enough data (for the time being) to recommend immunization for these groups, but pharmaceutical companies are already including them in clinical trials.
For example, Pfizer and BioNtech will start a clinical trial with around 4,000 women to determine the effectiveness and safety of their vaccine against Covid-19. At this time, this consortium and Moderna will also start tests on children aged 12 and over.
This study of pregnant women, announced midway through this month, predicts that they will be vaccinated between the 24th and 34th weeks of pregnancy. Each woman is observed for seven to ten months. “Pregnant women are at increased risk of complications and developing serious forms of Covid-19. Therefore, it is important to develop a safe and effective vaccine for this population,” said William Gruber, vice president of vaccines for vaccines research and clinical development, quoted as quoting in a statement.