A preprint article published in the medRxiv, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, has reported the first known case of an infant with SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies detectable in cord blood after maternal vaccination. The article, co-authored by Paul Gilbert and Chad Rudnick from Florida Atlantic University in the US, added that a front-line healthcare worker was provided with the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine when she was 36 weeks pregnant.
Three weeks after taking the first dose of the vaccine the woman gave birth to a healthy girl with a normal newborn nursery course and subsequent well-infant evaluation. Researchers took a blood sample from the baby cord immediately after the birth and the serum was sent for SARS-CoV-2 antibody test to the S-protein as performed by Labcorp. The mother, who has been breastfeeding exclusively, then received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine during the postpartum period per the normal 28-day vaccination protocol timeline.
The article further said that there is potential for protection and infection risk reduction from SARS-CoV-2 with maternal vaccination. “Quantification of the antibody response can help to determine the specific antibody titer and aid in longitudinal monitoring of the dynamics of the antibody response in individual patients. Protective efficacy in newborns and the ideal timing of maternal vaccination remains unknown. Further studies will be needed to quantify the amount of viral neutralizing antibodies present in babies born to SARS-CoV-2 naïve mothers who are vaccinated prior to delivery. Additionally, the duration of antibody protection in this population is not yet known and serial total antibody measurements may be used to determine how long protection is expected which may help to determine when the best time would be to begin vaccination in newborns born to mothers who received a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2,” the article mentions.
According to Rudnick, this is one small case in what will be thousands of babies born to mothers who have been vaccinated for the next several months. “Further studies have to determine how long this protection will last. 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,” Rudnick added.