According to newly published research from the University of Florida, mothers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 may be able to pass on protection against the disease to their nursing infants after the vaccination. According to the researchers, antibodies given via breast milk may be helpful to infants, but more research is required to establish their effect on development.
A large number of mothers, particularly pregnant women, are apprehensive about being vaccinated. They want to do what is best for their children, according to Dr. Josef Neu, a co-author of the research and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Division of Neonatology at the University Of Florida College Of Medicine. “This is something that we were interested in seeing whether it might really be of help.”
COVID-19 Antibodies May Be Found In The Breast Milk Of Vaccinated Mothers
According to Joseph Larkin III, a senior author of the research and an associate professor at the University of Florida Department of Microbiology as well as Cell Science, babies are born having their immune systems not completely formed. They are too young to get the COVID-19 vaccination and thus are unable to defend themselves. Breast milk, on the other hand, is like a handy tool kit that may be customized to possibly enhance that vulnerability. In a press statement from the University of Florida, it was said that the research started in December when the COVID-19 vaccinations were first made accessible to healthcare professionals, and it would run through March.
The blood and breast milk of the 21 lactating mothers working in the healthcare industry had never had COVID and were able to qualify to be vaccinated either with Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were tested 3 times: before vaccination, after the first dose, and after the second dose with series completion. The volunteers were used to collect the blood and breast milk. According to Larkin, the researchers discovered that, after the second dosage, there was a significant 100-fold rise in immunoglobulin A antibodies in breast milk. He went on to say that if breast milk is frozen and kept rather than immediately given to a kid, the antibodies are still there, which should satisfy any inquisitive parents.
Other research has shown that antibodies generated by pregnant women who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are transmitted to a fetus via the umbilical cord blood of their babies. The latest University of Florida research could not offer an explanation as to whether antibodies present in breast milk and passed on to infants provide protection or in what quantity they do so. However, the team is doing further study to address the unresolved issues. As per Neu, the research did demonstrate that the vaccine was safe for the 21 women who took part in it and that it gave them protection. He and Larkin made it clear that their research was not intended to put anybody who is unable to breastfeed under any hardship, and they expressed optimism that the results would inspire more individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
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