Expecting mothers, doctors encouraged by infant born with Covid antibodies

Expecting mothers, doctors encouraged by infant born with Covid antibodies

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Pregnancy during Covid can make any mother anxious.

“It’s definitely every pregnant woman’s nightmare right now to get Covid,” said Nicole Bryson.

Despite all precautions and masking, mama-to-be, Nicole Bryson tested positive for the virus in December, the exact time she could have qualified for a vaccine.

“To get it in my third trimester was scary but it turns out it was a blessing in disguise,” said Bryson.

She, her husband, and her toddler all overcame the virus, and now she says her medical advisers believe she will have the protective antibodies for when she does go into labor which should be soon.

“I will be 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow so we’re just on a waiting game now… we’re still being really careful these last few weeks before the baby is born but we didn’t have to go into full-blown lockdown,” said Bryson.

Doctors are now encouraged to find similar, vaccine-derived antibodies in at least one Florida infant. They say the mother passed antibodies in utero from one shot of the Moderna vaccine.

“Obviously we’re going to need lots more data and studies to measure this but it does give us promise,” said Dr. Robert Maupin.

Dr. Robert Maupin with LSU Health explained how the antibodies are transferred passively from mother to baby. So like flu antibodies, they don’t expect the Covid antibodies to protect the infants for years.

“The best potential news is that this may be a benefit to protecting our youngest patients in those windows when they are vulnerable after delivery,” said Maupin.

Since the state prioritized the vaccine for pregnant women, he says they’re constantly speaking with expecting mothers about signing up for those shots. He says they see the vaccines as promising to save both the lives of mothers and their infants especially with this medical discovery.

“Does this clear the way for all the hugs and kisses? I think it opens the door… we want the aunties, the grandma’s, grandfather’s, uncles we want them to become vaccinated so in fact they’re not posing a risk from both directions,” said Maupin.

As anxious as she is now to meet her new son, Bryson says she’s also anxious to receive her vaccine after giving birth, so she can continue to protect her family.

“I think everyone’s worried about their babies and if there’s antibodies being passed in utero from women getting the vaccine while pregnant that’s awesome,” said Bryson.

Maupin says pregnant women are three times more likely to fall critically ill from Covid-19 which is another reason they recommend the vaccine for pregnant women, but all expecting mothers should consult with their medical provider first.

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