[Healthline] Newborns can benefit if nursing mothers are vaccinated against COVID-19


  • A COVID-19 vaccine given to a nursing mother can produce antibodies in breast milk within a few weeks, researchers say.
  • They say the antibodies can help protect babies against the disease.
  • They added that a clinical trial showed very few adverse effects from the vaccine on the mother or the infant.

Vaccinated women who breastfeed can pass COVID-19 protection to their babies.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that COVID-19 vaccination promotes strong antibody secretion in breast milk during pregnancy. up to 6 weeks after vaccination.

Danelle Fisher, pediatrician and chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, found that antibodies found in babies several weeks old were extremely encouraging.

“We start by providing mothers with protection that we hope will last and that they can pass on to their babies. And that seems to be what’s happening,” Fisher told Healthline.

About research

The cohort study took place in Israel between December 23 and January 15.

Although women who are breastfeeding are not included in the vaccine trial, they are encouraged to get vaccinated.

The researchers wanted to find out if SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were secreted into breast milk. Their study involved 84 women who received 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 21 days apart.

They collected breast milk samples before the first vaccine was available. Starting 2 weeks after the first dose, they started taking samples once a week for 6 weeks.

Just 2 weeks after the first vaccination, the level of specific IgA antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 increased significantly. Antibody levels spike after the second vaccination.

The researchers also investigated side effects in women and their infants.

Some women experienced side effects from the vaccine and four infants developed fever, cough and stuffy nose after their mothers were vaccinated. Three cases resolved without treatment. One infant was treated with antibiotics.

None of the women or infants experienced serious side effects during the study.

“The conclusions of the study are very interesting,” Fisher said.

“This is one of the first studies to go from start to finish, not just randomly sampling, but actually following the women involved in the study. It is well constructed, well thought out and well executed,” she added.

What you need to know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccine is not considered a risk to infants during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Fisher said the study goes hand in hand with what many doctors have encouraged pregnant and lactating people to do.

“Get vaccinated because even a small part of the protection is better than none. And there is no vaccine for infants at this time. And we know that breast milk is precious. You can’t get this kind of protection from formula,” she says.

This particular study involved only the Pfizer vaccine.

“We can extrapolate the results to the Moderna vaccine because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very similar in how they provide protection,” Fisher said.

Both are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.

“I can tell patients with confidence that I strongly recommend getting everyone vaccinated, especially pregnant and breastfeeding mothers,” says Fisher.

“But I think we’re still a bit off from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has a different mechanism of action,” she continued.

Right now, use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being paused while rare adverse events are being investigated.

“Once Johnson & Johnson has done more safety testing, it could be a good alternative. They still have research to do, which may be more enlightening about the transmission of antibodies to infants. Right now, we can make a very good case for Pfizer and Moderna for infant contagion protection,” Fisher explained.

As for how long antibodies against COVID-19 can persist in infants, that is an open question.

“We’re still talking about how long antibodies last in people’s bodies,” Fisher said.

“The original Pfizer study participants still had their blood drawn periodically from vaccinated individuals. We still don’t know if we will need boosters in 1, 2 or 5 years. But the studies are really encouraging, and it will be interesting to see how the information unfolds over the next 6 to 12 months. We just have to be patient,” she said.

Fisher urges people to contact healthcare professionals to learn more.

“If in doubt, ask your doctor. Obstetricians and paediatricians are happy to have those discussions, and we look forward to spreading the good news,” Fisher said.

Source : Infants Can Benefit If Breastfeeding Mothers Are Given a COVID-19 Vaccine

Link: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/infants-can-benefit-if-breastfeeding-mothers-are-given-a-covid-19-vaccine

The article is edited and translated by ykhoa.org – please do not reup without permission!

Translated by: Kimluan

Editing: Bao Ngan

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