Select Page

A baby born in the southwest Colorado city of Cortez has tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies after her mother received her second dose of the vaccine just weeks before delivering.

Reese Saunders was born at Southwest Memorial Hospital on Feb. 24, her mom, Haley Saunders, said. She was upside down in the womb, requiring a scheduled C-section, but at 6 pounds and 13 ounces Reese was an otherwise healthy baby.

Courtesy Haley Leonard

Reese Saunders, born Feb. 24, was born with COVID-19 antibodies in her blood after her mother received the second dose of vaccine just weeks before giving birth.

She also already has antibodies in her blood that could resist the novel coronavirus, tests have revealed.

“The risk of COVID-19 from what I was reading for pregnant women was really high,” Haley Saunders said of her decision to schedule her vaccinations earlier this year. She got her first shot in January. “I saw all of these hospitalizations and people who weren’t able to meet their baby for days and weeks and I just didn’t want to be in that situation.”

The first-time mom got her second dose in the first week of February, just a few weeks before Reese arrived. When bringing Reese in for a follow-up appointment, Haley and her husband Ryan Saunders agreed to let the hospital’s lab staff test their baby for antibodies. As first reported in southwest Colorado news outlet, The Journal, little Reese’s blood was found to be rich with antibodies that fight the disease.

As for what that means for Reese, Haley Saunders said she isn’t sure yet. While there are fewer reported cases of COVID-19 in children compared to adults, the Centers for Disease Control has cautioned that children can still carry and spread the virus.

For Saunders, who works for a mental and community health provider in the region, the decision to be vaccinated was an easy one to make for her and her husband after talking to their doctor and reading the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ information about vaccinations during pregnancy. She said her side effects were minimal — nothing worse than some short-term aches and pains — and now she is enjoying maternity leave and looking forward to returning to work in person later this year.

“I think everybody should make their own informed decision. For our family, this made sense,” she said. “I just know that getting back to some sense of normalcy will be really nice and I can breathe a little easier knowing Reese has some antibodies no matter what that will mean.”

This content was originally published here.