Mom Gives Birth To World's First Baby With COVID-19 Antibodies After Vaccine

At this stage in the COVID-19 pandemic, we're seeing more room for the optimism that was in such short supply in the dark year that saw the virus ravage the world.

Of course, a major reason for this is the fact that we now have multiple approved vaccines in the United States. Better yet, the nation seems on track to vaccinate every adult against the coronavirus before the year is out.

But this good news nonetheless leaves one important question hanging in the air: what about the children?

As CNN reported, we're in the process of finding out whether the Moderna vaccine is viable for children under 12.

But as researchers work to figure that out, two Florida doctors have made a discovery that has important implications for anybody entering the world during this tumultuous time.

At the beginning of the year, a front-line healthcare worker in Palm Beach County received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

As WCVB 5 reported, this woman was 36 weeks pregnant at the time and gave birth to a baby girl three weeks later.

This birth was of great interest to pediatricians Dr. Paul Gilbert and Dr. Chad Rudnick, who had a blood sample taken from the baby.

As they told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, their hypothesis was that the mother's vaccine may have given the newborn antibodies against the virus.

And since the mother had not had COVID-19 up to that point, they were confident that if they turned out to be right, the only possible source for those antibodies would be the vaccine.

And considering how other vaccines had worked in the past, the doctors weren't grasping at straws with this hypothesis.

As Gilbert said, "Things like the flu vaccine and the whooping cough vaccine which are standard, we know that those can pass protection in antibodies to babies. So the hypothesis was that the same thing would happen with the COVID vaccine."

And once the results came in, the doctors discovered they were right and the baby indeed had COVID-19 antibodies.

As Rudnick told( WCVB 5, "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."

Alongside its potential implications for any parent expecting a child within the year, this discovery is also a "once in a career" event for Rudnick and Gilbert.

In Rudnick's words, "The opportunity to share something that’s the first known case in the world, that’s something that doesn’t come up very often."

But while this all sounds like great news, there's still one aspect of this antibody transfer from parent to newborn that remains unknown.

And as the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported, that has to do with how long these antibodies will be able to protect the baby.

Unfortunately, that can only be known through further research.

Nonetheless, Rudnick and Gilbert's findings have the potential to both reassure parents and protect children during the most vulnerable stage of their lives.

As Gilbert put it, "The newborn period is a very vulnerable period — they don’t have their immune systems ready to go. The first few months one of the ways we can protect them is by giving the vaccine to the mom."

h/t: WCVB, South Florida Sun Sentinel

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