Local newborn has coronavirus protection

Sara Roth, Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit Director at St. Anthony Regional Hospital, passed coronavirus antibodies to her newborn because she got vaccinated while she was pregnant.

posted on 3/10/2021 in Features

By Jared Strong, Carroll Times Herald j.strong@carrollspaper.com (reprinted by permission)

Sara Roth and HankAn infant born at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in January has antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

That's because his mother, Sara Roth, the director of the hospital's emergency room and intensive care unit, was vaccinated while she was pregnant.

"I was really hoping I could get (the vaccine) before I had him, hoping I could give him the immunity," Roth said.

Roth had not been infected by the coronavirus before the vaccines became available despite her role on the medical frontline and having two other children in school. She got one dose of the vaccine before giving birth and kept her fingers crossed.

On January 14th, her new son Hank was born. A blood test showed he has antibodies that could protect him against the virus.

By getting a new vaccine while pregnant, Roth bucked the fears that some have about potential side effects. It was an easy decision for her, based on doctors' advice.

"They're highly encouraging pregnant women to get it,'' Roth said. "The benefits of the vaccine definitely outweigh the risk, just to protect him from the virus. Infants can't wear masks. You can try to keep them away from others, but I have two other germy kids. Who knows what they're around?"

Roth's decision conferred some protection to Hank from COVID-19, the dis­ ease caused by the coronavirus, and it also means the pair are being tracked by Moderna, the maker of the vaccine Roth received. Roth talks to someone from Moderna periodically to report whether she or Hank have had any complications.

So far, so good.

"I had a pretty easy delivery," Roth said. "He's very healthy. No issues at all."

Based on current data, children are less likely to be infected by the coronavirus and suffer serious symptoms, but there have been sporadic reports across the country of infant deaths.

"Ultimately, you just have to do what's best for you-we're all just trying to do our best in caring for our children," Roth said. "For me, this was the right decision, because COVID's not going away."

By Jared Strong, Carroll Times Herald j.strong@carrollspaper.com (reprinted by permission)


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