Zeynep Aslı Kaplan, a doctor who was administered two doses of the coronavirus vaccine during her pregnancy, gave birth to a baby boy with antibodies against COVID-19, the first of his kind in Turkey.
Kaplan, who works at the Maternity Hospital of the Ankara City Hospital complex in the capital, was among the health care workers who were the first to receive a COVID-19 jab of the CoronaVac vaccine. In the 29th and 33rd weeks of her pregnancy, she received two doses and gave birth 20 days ago, in the 38th week of pregnancy. “It was a smooth birth and pregnancy. I was wondering whether he had antibodies because I read some studies in the United States where babies were born with antibodies. We checked the blood in his umbilical cord and my own blood and discovered both had antibodies,” Kaplan told Ihlas News Agency (IHA) on Tuesday.
“It certainly does not give 100% protection but having antibodies is fine as my son cannot be vaccinated. It really eased my mind. I also found out that I had antibodies in my breast milk, and we will wait and see now if they would be conveyed to Uras as well,” she said, referring to the baby boy. Kaplan added that it may be good news for her pregnant colleagues and pregnant mothers in general. “I have a few pregnant friends who were vaccinated. They did not have any side effects, but we need more studies on the safety of vaccination for expecting mothers to assure people. Personally, I think the vaccination of mothers in risk groups would provide protection for them and their children,” she added.
Professor Özlem Moraloğlu Tekin, the chief physician of Maternity Hospital, said they have started collecting data from Kaplan and other pregnant health care workers and those who recently gave birth. “There is no specific data about vaccines’ effect on pregnant mothers, but we are familiar with the limited data about pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who received Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines in their Phase 3 trials. We know that there weren’t any side effects, but we still need more data. Our work here can be instrumental. We applied to the Health Ministry to conduct the study,” she said.
Such a case of a baby born with antibodies was reported in the United States. It is known that pregnant mothers who had flu shots can convey antibodies to their newborns, and scientists think the same can be the case for mothers who receive COVID-19 shots.
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