Antibody Inheritance

Doctors: Woman Passed COVID Vaccine Immunity to Her Newborn Baby

A mother appears to have passed COVID-fighting antibodies to her newborn daughter.

lunar caustic via Flickr/Futurism
Image by lunar caustic via Flickr/Futurism

Here’s a dose of promising news. Scientists have found that a woman in south Florida who was recently vaccinated with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant passed on her COVID antibodies to her newborn baby, The Guardian reports.

According to the team’s findings, as detailed in a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed preprint, the mother, who is a frontline healthcare worker, received her first shot of the Moderna vaccine back in January. She was 36 weeks pregnant at the time.

She gave birth to a girl three weeks after that first shot. An analysis of her baby’s blood showed that the COVID-19 antibodies were present a the time of delivery, according to the paper.

“Thus, there is potential for protection and infection risk reduction from SARS-CoV-2 with maternal vaccination,” concluded the research team from Florida Atlantic University.

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The team says it marks the “first known case of an infant with SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies detectable in cord blood after maternal 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,” pediatrician Paul Gilbert, lead author, told local ABC-affiliated news outlet WPBF earlier this week.

“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,” co-author Chad Rudnick added.

Some questions remain, however.

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“Further studies have to determine how long will this protection last,” Rudnick told WPBF. “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.”


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