BOCA RATON, Fla. — Mary-Kate said the decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant was an easy one for her.
"I had already made up my mind that I was going to get the vaccine to protect me and my baby, and I didn't really have any reservations about it," she explained.
She felt confident in the science and data available.
"I was 36 weeks pregnant," she said. "It was on NYE that I got the vaccine, and then three weeks later she was born, so it was before I could get my second vaccine."
Mary-Kate, who didn't want to reveal her last name, said deciding to go on camera took a bit more thought. Her story -- of a partially vaccinated and pregnant woman whose baby was born with antibodies -- went worldwide after WPTV NewsChannel 5 was the first to report it.
WPTV's Tory Dunnan asked her why she decided to share her story with her.
"It kind of goes towards all the naysayers of, 'Does this person even exist?' Like, yeah, I exist," she explained. "My baby is healthy. She doesn't have an extra arm growing out of her head, like some people have commented. She's alive and well, and I'm just happy that I could be a part of it. ... To see all the negative comments about myself and about my daughter, it was really unfortunate."
The woman is a health-care worker, so she was able to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine early on in December. She was 36 weeks pregnant at the time.
"With the first shot, I almost couldn't tell you that I had a vaccine unless I poked my arm," she said.
Her second dose was administered a week after her baby was born.
"With the second vaccine, I had a few more side effects," she said.
Mary-Kate said she never tested positive for COVID-19 before getting the shot. When baby Addison was born, they went ahead and tested the cord blood for antibodies from the vaccine.
"When we made the decision to test her antibodies when she was born, it hadn't really crossed my mind that we would be making world news, and women around the world would be reaching out and commenting that they themselves felt a lot more comfortable getting the vaccine knowing their baby would be protected from COVID, which is unbelievable," she said.
She now encourages other pregnant women who decide to get vaccinated to make sure it is documented, so that it can become part of research and help with information concerning pregnant women getting the vaccine.
"I've received calls from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) after I was vaccinated, because I had reported I was pregnant and they are actually following all of us very closely," she said. "They've already called twice now. So they called right after she was born and followed up for two months and they are going to follow up again to kind of just ask about my health, the baby's health, the pregnancy."
Her pediatrician, Dr. Chad Rudnick, described it as a career highlight.
"This is just one piece of the puzzle that we were able to share with the world," he said.
Ultimately, Mary-Kate said, she hopes her story will do one thing -- encourage women to talk to their doctors and not rely on misinformation found on social media.
Dunnan asked her what advice she might give to other pregnant women who feel conflicted on the decision.
"You have to do what is best for you," she said. "You need to talk to your own physician. They know you best."