New York, April 7
Breastfeeding mothers who receive a Covid-19 vaccine can pass protective antibodies to their babies through breast milk for at least 80 days after vaccination, suggests a small study.
The results showed that breast milk contained high levels of IgA and IgG antibodies – antibodies made by the immune system to fight infections in babies – immediately after the first dose of vaccination.
Both antibodies reached significant immune levels within 14 to 20 days of the first vaccination in all participants, according to the study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“Our study showed a huge increase in antibodies to the Covid-19 virus in breast milk from two weeks after the first vaccine, and this response was maintained for the duration of our study, which lasted almost three months. Said senior author Jeannie Kelly, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, United States.
“The antibody levels were still high at the end of our study, so the protection probably extends even longer,” Kelly added.
The study involved five mothers who provided samples of frozen breast milk after receiving the two-dose vaccine against the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus. They were monitored for antibodies before the first vaccinations and on a weekly basis for 80 days afterwards.
“Our study is limited by a small number of participants, but the results provide encouraging news about the potential immune benefit for breastfed infants after vaccination,” said Misty Good, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.
The findings provide some of the first peer-reviewed evidence that breastfeeding confers a lasting immune response in infants and toddlers of vaccinated mothers, the researchers said.
While further studies on Covid-19 maternal vaccination are needed to characterize the duration of antibody production in breast milk and its effect on infant infection rates, recent research continues to confirm that the Covid vaccine -19 offers real benefits for the protection of mother and child. – IANS