COVID-19 Vaccination Of Breast Feeding Mothers May Also Prot
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Nursing mothers who receive a COVID-19 vaccine may pass protective antibodies to their babies through breast milk for at least 80 days following vaccination, suggests new research. "Our study showed a huge boost in antibodies against the COVID-19 virus in breast milk starting two weeks after the first shot, and this response was sustained for the course of our study, which was almost three months long," said a researcher.

Based on the small study, involving five mothers who provided frozen breast milk samples after receiving the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the research provides some of the first peer-reviewed evidence that breastfeeding confers a long-lasting immune response in the nursing infants and toddlers of vaccinated mothers.

The study tracked levels of COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk from a baseline before the mothers' first vaccinations and on a weekly basis for 80 days after those initial vaccinations. The babies of women included in the study ranged in age from one month to 24 months old. To gauge immune response in the breast milk, researchers monitored levels of the immunoglobulins IgA and IgG.

Findings confirm that breast milk contains elevated levels of the IgA and IgG antibodies immediately following the first dose of vaccination, with both antibodies reaching immune-significant levels within 14 to 20 days of first vaccination in all participants. "Our study is limited by a small number of participants, but the findings provide encouraging news about the potential immune benefit to breast-feeding infants after vaccination," said senior author.

While further studies of maternal COVID-19 vaccination are needed to characterize the length of antibody production in breast milk and the effect on infant infection rates, recent research continues to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccine offers real benefits for protecting both mother and child.

Source:
https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(21)00211-8/fulltext
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