(Meredith) – A North Carolina baby tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies that doctors believe came from drinking his vaccinated mother’s breast milk.
One-year-old Jameson’s mom Katy Robertson says she got both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while she was breast feeding her son.
Robertson, who is a nurse practitioner, wanted to see if some of her antibodies from the vaccine were being passed onto little Jameson through her breast milk, so she decided to run some tests.
“We thought it would just be a fun science experiment, I'm a nerdy science person and I just wanted to see,” Robertson told WITN.
Robertson tested Jameson 12 days after her first dose of the vaccine, but she didn’t see any antibodies present. However, when she tested her breast milk itself, it was positive for antibodies – proving her theory that the antibodies were being transmitted, but they were just not showing up in Jameson yet.
But with time came results – Jameson is now showing strong COVID-19 antibodies.
Like many other moms, Robertson was hesitant at first to get vaccinated.
“I didn’t know how it would do, [since] there is no studies with children,” Robertson told WITN.
While there is some research on pregnant women and infants in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines, doctors still have a lot to learn about the relationship, considering COVID-19 is still a fairly new virus.
Arin Piramzadian, chief medical officer at StarMed Healthcare in Jacksonville, North Carolina, said Robertson is the first case that he knows of where a mom was able to prove that her baby was receiving COVID-19 antibodies from breast milk.
Piramzadian said although antibodies for other viruses have transferred through breast milk in the past, doctors could not be 100 percent sure that the COVID-19 vaccines would do the same.
“We’ve seen it with other vaccines, we just didn’t know if the mRNA vaccine was going to act similar,” Piramzadian told WITN. “Obviously, the science behind it said that it definitely will [work the same and pass antibodies], but you always want to prove it, and it’s just amazing that you can.”
As for Robertson, she has peace of mind knowing her child has protection from the virus.
“I’m actually very excited that he does have protection, and hopefully it would be enough that if he is exposed, if I were to bring [COVID-19] home from work, that he’s not going to get very sick,” Robertson said.
It’s unclear whether Robertson received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but they are both mRNA vaccines that experts say work in a similar way. The mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.