Research shows COVID vaccines do not affect breast milk

A new study has found that genetic material from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can’t be transferred into breast milk.

Many new mothers have been understandably put off from getting their coronavirus jabs with concerns that vaccine material can affect breast milk. But, new research shows these fears may be unfounded.

COVID vaccines are safe for breastfeeding mothers

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, have recently discovered that both Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines can’t be transferred into a mother’s breast milk.

To conduct the study, researchers tested the breast milk of seven mothers from 4-48 hours after they received their COVID jabs and found that no active components of the vaccines could be detected.

While more extensive studies are still needed to confirm the result fully, the current research provides ‘important early evidence to strengthen current recommendations that vaccine-related mRNA is not transferred to the infant.’

Furthermore, researchers also found that on the slight chance that an undetectable level of mRNA was passed through breast milk, it would likely be destroyed by the infant’s digestive system.

Even though mRNA material isn’t likely to be transferred through breastfeeding, other studies suggest that antibodies can, potentially providing the infant with some level of COVID protection.

Pregnant women and new mothers are especially vulnerable to COVID-19

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that young mothers and pregnant women have suffered higher hospitalisation rates and intensive care from coronavirus than other women of the same age group.

Despite this, pregnant women have a low vaccination rate. A CDC study estimated that as of May, just 16% of pregnant American women had received their COVID jabs.

The aversion towards the vaccines can be attributed to the limited trials done on pregnant women during the development of the coronavirus vaccines. But, researchers who are familiar with how the mRNA vaccines function believe there is little risk for breastfeeding and pregnant women. As a result, the FDA approved the jabs for this group.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine supported the FDA’s move, reiterating that both Pfizer and Moderna jabs posed little risk to pregnant and lactating mothers. The Academy released a statement in December saying:

During lactation, it is unlikely that the vaccine lipid would enter the bloodstream and reach breast tissue. If it does, it is even less likely that either the intact nanoparticle or mRNA transfer into milk.
COVID: Antibodies detected in breast milk of vaccinated mothers COVID: Antibodies detected in breast milk of vaccinated mothers