Washington, Aug 25 (PTI) The milk of lactating mothers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has a substantial amount of antibodies that protect newborns from the disease. This has been revealed in a study. The study, published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, provides a strong indication that the vaccine can protect both mother and baby, and is a strong reason why pregnant and lactating women should get the vaccine. Joseph Larkin, senior author of the study and associate professor at the University of Florida in the US, said: “Our results show that
“Our results show that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are significantly increased in the milk of lactating mothers,” said study senior author and Associate Professor Joseph Larkin from the University of Florida, US, which suggests that the vaccine Implanted mothers also give immunity to their children.
The researchers found that when babies are born, their immune systems are underdeveloped, making it difficult for them to fight off infections on their own. Additionally, they are too small to respond adequately to certain types of drugs, he said.
“Women who breastfeed during this vulnerable period also provide ‘indirect immunity’ to newborns,” said study co-author and University of Florida professor Joseph Niue.
She said, “The milk of lactating women is a box full of various tools that help prepare the newborn for life. In this box of vaccination tools, it is like putting another tool, a tool that has good potential to prevent the disease of Kovid-19.”
The study was conducted between December 2020 and March 2021, when anti-COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna were first made available to health care workers in the US.
Researchers selected 21 lactating health care workers who had never been exposed to COVID-19.
They took lactating mothers’ milk and blood samples three times—before vaccination, after the first dose of the vaccine, and after the second dose.
“We observed a strong antibody response in the blood and milk of lactating women after the second dose of the vaccine—about 100 times higher than at the pre-vaccination level,” said Lauren Stafford, a researcher in Larkin’s lab.
“It was even higher than the level of antibodies present in people who had naturally recovered from the infection,” said Vivian Valcarse of the University of Florida.
Researchers are now studying how the antibodies that reached the newborn’s body protect them.