COVID vaccine antibodies detected in breast milk

U.S. Births babies
Posted at 4:09 AM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 06:49:11-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio - COVID-19 vaccines are currently only approved for kids 12 and older, but there could be a way for babies to get some protection without actually getting a shot.

According to some small studies on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, vaccine antibodies have been detected in breast milk.

In general, women who are able to breastfeed provide their babies with antibodies to help them through their first few months of life. It's been shown babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of certain infections.

When it comes to COVID-19, some data suggest young infants may be at a higher risk for severe illness.

Research is ongoing about whether COVID-19 vaccine antibodies in breast milk will protect an infant from coronavirus, but doctors know other vaccines, like the flu shot, are beneficial for babies.

"When mothers get the flu vaccine, they produce antibodies and those antibodies actually protect the newborn when they are transferred through breast milk to the babies," said Dr.Tosin Goje with Cleveland Clinic.

According to the CDC, pregnant women are more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19, so doctors recommend women who are pregnant or breastfeeding get vaccinated.