Mothers who acquire the COVID-19 vaccine and continue breastfeeding may be able to protect their infants from severe sickness by passing along antibodies to them through their breast milk. Moreover, we may now speculate which vaccines provide the most safety. Studies show that J&J offers the lowest risk in breast milk antibodies.
The immunological response in breast milk after immunization was investigated. For this study, researchers analyzed breast milk samples from women who had received one of three vaccines made by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, all of which have been given FDA approval for emergency use (FDA). The FDA has officially green-lighted Pfizer’s vaccine.
Introduction to the Research
Researchers looked at the levels of COVID-19-neutralizing antibodies in breast milk before the donors got the vaccine and again when the antibodies were at their strongest. The peak effect of mRNA vaccines like Moderna and Pfizer occurs 14 days after the second dosage. The maximum effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is administered just once, can be expected 28 days after vaccination.
IgG is the primary antibody produced by the body in response to COVID-19 vaccinations and the most prevalent antibody identified in the blood. In contrast, IgA is the antibody found in the greatest quantities in breast milk, and sIgA, which is essential to the immunological function of mucus membranes, is the most stable of the three antibodies in breast milk due to its protein shell.
In Allergy & Immunology, the results are presented before they have been vetted by other experts in the field. They show that all the study participants who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine had detectable levels of vaccine-induced IgG in their breast milk, while just 62% of those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine did.
Even among those who did develop IgG after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, the levels of IgG they produced were far lower compared to that of those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The Moderna vaccination performed best in terms of IgA production.
This antibody was found in the highest concentrations in the breast milk of donors who had received this immunization. Furthermore, 25% more Moderna receivers than Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson recipients demonstrated a rise in sIgA production in breast milk. What did the study’s authors conclude in the end?
In this case, Johnson & Johnson is not a company that we recommend to nursing mothers. If that’s the best you’ve got, then it’s better than nothing.
The Opinions of Doctors
The Johnson & Johnson vaccination has been demonstrated to be significantly less efficient in preventing moderate to severe disease and to elicit a slightly weaker antibody response. But he says there’s enough evidence of antibody levels in breast milk to recommend this vaccine for expectant and nursing mothers. Furthermore, there is still an active investigation into the potential protective effects of antibodies in breast milk.
The study demonstrates that there are antibody levels in the breast milk of vaccine recipients, with slightly fewer antibodies in the breast milk of nursing mothers who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This fact alone should not prevent its usage by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Dr. Narasimhan does not feel confident enough in the findings to suggest a specific vaccine for a breastfeeding woman. The immunoglobulin composition of breast milk varies widely.
Moderna and Pfizer’s post-vaccination samples were closer to 5 to 6 weeks, while Johnson & Johnson’s were closer to 4 weeks, highlighting the study’s limitations. It’s not known if this is related to any variation in the antibody profile of breast milk.
She also notes that mother and family COVID-19 infection is the most significant risk factor for neonatal exposure. Therefore, vaccination is necessary to safeguard infants within families.
Preventing COVID-19 infection in a baby is a top priority. Thus it’s important to take precautions to protect the mother and other family members. To safeguard the health of their unborn child, I urge all expectant and nursing moms to get vaccinated.
Keep in mind that neither the CDC nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends against giving the COVID-19 vaccination to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
The Implications of This Finding For You
Babies who receive antibodies from their mother’s breast milk may not be completely protected against contracting and spreading viruses like COVID-19, but they have a far lower chance of being severely ill or becoming a carrier of the virus. There is some evidence that breastfeeding mothers who are offered the COVID-19 immunization may benefit from receiving it. Your doctor can recommend a treatment strategy.
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