Story at a glance

  • A southern Florida woman voluntarily received the Moderna vaccination while 36 weeks pregnant.
  • 3 weeks after the first dose of the vaccination, she gave birth to a baby girl.
  • Immediately after birth, the baby’s cord blood was tested where SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were discovered.
  • This is the first known baby to be born with COVID antibodies after maternal vaccination.
  • The researchers who reported this instance say that “there is a significant and urgent need for research regarding safety and efficacy of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy” and that “protective efficacy in newborns and ideal timing of maternal vaccination remains unknown”.
  • One question especially remains unanswered: how will this effect someone’s innate immune system if the antibodies from a vaccination develop in utero?

Woman receives vaccination while 36 weeks pregnant

In January 2021 a 36-week pregnant woman, who is a frontline healthcare worker, received her first dose of the Moderna vaccination.

Three weeks later, she gave birth to a baby girl. Immediately after the birth, the blood from the umbilical cord was tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Upon finding the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the cord blood, it was concluded that this is the first known baby to be born with COVID antibodies after maternal vaccination.

While communicating this finding in their written article, researchers also expressed their concerns.

What now?

Paul Gilbert MD and Chad Rudnick MD from Florida Atlantic University— Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton, FL, published their finding in a preprint article.

In the beginning of the article, in the ‘Background’ section, the researchers reflect on the amount of research behind maternal vaccination for Influenza and TDaP, calling them “well studied in terms of safety and efficacy for protection of the newborn by placental passage of antibodies”. (1)

Then, it seems that they critically explore the lack of studies behind maternal vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2. The researchers say, “There is a significant and urgent need for research regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy.” (2)

Mentioned later in the article are more specific criticisms. In their ‘Discussion’ section, it is noted that “protective efficacy in newborns and ideal timing of maternal vaccination remains unknown” and that “the duration of antibody protection in this population is not yet known”. (3)

Innate vs Adaptive immune systems

At this rate, only time will tell how a maternal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination will affect a newborn. Here’s what we do know at The Wellness Way:

If you bypass an infant’s innate immune system, they develop a hyper-humoral immune response from an influx of antibodies. This can lead to bodily reactions such as: allergies, asthma, inflammation, etc., which would affect the child through the duration of their life.

Learn more about the link between allergies and vaccinations, here.

Our innate immune system is not able to differentiate between different types of pathogens, and it is also our body’s first line of defense against invasive pathogens. This means that, although the newborn baby will have the COVID antibodies, they will not be used because the body did not develop them through the adaptive immune system.

The researchers’ closing statement says, “We urge other investigators to create pregnancy and breastfeeding registries as well as conduct efficacy and safety studies of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant and breastfeeding women and their offspring.” (5)

References