A frontline healthcare worker living in Florida, USA, was very surprised to hear that her new baby has COVID-19 antibodies.

The mother received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine 36 weeks into her pregnancy and the baby was born “healthy and full-term” at 39 weeks.

“To our knowledge, this was the first in the world that was reported of a baby being born with antibodies after a vaccination,” said Florida paediatrician Paul Gilbert.

According to a report by MedRxiv written by Gilbert and Dr Chad Rudnick, after the mother received her first injection, she developed COVID-19 antibodies which passed through the placenta onto her future child.

The report has yet to be peer reviewed, but the medics believe that babies born with the antibodies still need to be protected from COVID-19.

“Further studies have to determine how long this protection will last,” said Dr Rudnick.

“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.”

Australia’s health authorities don’t recommend pregnant women get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and suggest waiting until after pregnancy to get the vaccination.