Breast Milk Of Vaccinated Mothers Carries COVID-19 Antibodies


  • Researchers believe that antibodies transmitted through breast milk may benefit babies.
  • A remarkable 100-fold rise in immunoglobulin A antibodies were detected in breast milk after the second dosage of vaccines.
  • Antibodies can be passed from mother to foetus via umbilical cord blood.

According to a recent study from the University of Florida, mothers who are vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to pass infection protection to their nursing babies, reports USA Today.

“A lot of moms, pregnant women, are afraid to get vaccinated. They want to do what’s best for their babies”. Dr. Josef Neu, a co-author of the study and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Division of Neonatology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, remarked, “This is something that we wanted to know whether it may actually provide some benefit.”

Protecting Babies

According to Joseph Larkin III, a senior author of the study and associate professor in the UF Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, babies’ immune systems are not fully formed when they are born. They are too young to get the COVID-19 vaccine and are therefore unable to defend themselves. On the other hand, breast milk is like a handy toolbox that can be tweaked to reduce that vulnerability.

“Milk is a dynamic substance. So, in other words, what the baby and the mom (are) exposed to in the environment, there are changes in the milk that correspond to these environmental conditions,” Neu said. “And these can then specifically help the baby.”


The blood and breast milk of 21 lactating mothers who worked in health care and had never had COVID-19 and were eligible to be vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were tested three times: before vaccination, after the first dose, and after the second dose with series completion, using volunteer subjects. After the second dose, the researchers discovered a noticeable 100-fold increase in immunoglobulin A antibodies in breast milk.


According to Larkin, the researchers discovered a significant 100-fold increase in immunoglobulin A antibodies in breast milk following the second dose. He went on to say that if breastmilk is frozen and preserved rather than given to a child right away, the antibodies are still present. Antibodies developed by pregnant women who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have been found to be transferred to a foetus through the umbilical cord blood in other investigations.

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Source: USA Today



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