COVID-19 immunity passes from mom to their newborns


When mother catches COVID-19 during pregnancy, does the child have the immunity to the virus in the womb? Initially scholars answer was yes.

But many in a new study, scientists analyzed blood samples from more than 1,470 pregnant women, 83 of whom tested positive for antibodies for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, at the time of delivery. Umbilical cord blood samples from the majority of babies born to these women also tested positive for antibodies, suggesting the babies get this passive immunity from mothers.

The number of antibodies passed to the baby largely depended on the type and quantity of antibodies that were present in the mother, and when she caught COVID-19 during pregnancy.

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also more likely to give birth early.

Most newborns of people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy do not have COVID-19 when they are born.

Some newborns have tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after birth. We don’t know if these newborns got the virus before, during, or after birth.

Most newborns who tested positive for COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms and recovered. Reports say some newborns developed severe COVID-19 illness.

Women who receive COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in their third trimester of pregnancy generate a strong immune response and pass protective antibodies through umbilical cord blood to their babies, according to a study conducted by Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian researchers, published April 28 in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 

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