Antibodies In Breast Milk After COVID-19 Vaccination

A research letter reported that robust secretion of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA and IgG antibodies were found in breast milk of breastfeeding women for 6 weeks after the first of 2 vaccinations against COVID-19.

Robust secretion of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA and IgG antibodies were found in breast milk of breastfeeding women for 6 weeks after the first of 2 vaccinations against COVID-19, according to a research letter in JAMA.

The prospective study from Israel also concluded that IgA secretion was evident as early as 2 weeks after vaccination, followed by a spike in IgG after 4 weeks, or the equivalent of 1 week after the second vaccine.

“Israel was among the first countries to undertake a nationwide vaccination program against COVID-19,” said principal investigator Ilan Youngster, MD, MMSc, director of pediatric infectious diseases at Shamir Medical Center in Zerifin, Israel. “Initially, high-risk groups were targeted, including healthcare personnel, many of whom are women with young infants at home.”

As a result, Youngster and his colleagues promptly received a barrage of questions about the safety of being vaccinated while breastfeeding, and any potential benefit to the baby.

“On a national level, it was decided that in spite of the lack of information, breastfeeding women should be vaccinated,” Youngster told Contemporary OB/GYN®. “Thus, we decided to conduct a study to examine whether anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are secreted into breastmilk, and whether any infant adverse events are described.”

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