According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers found traces of mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines in the expressed breast milk (EBM) of breastfeeding moms. Many of the study participants had trace amounts of the vaccines for up to 45 hours after receiving their shot.
Since lactating women were not part of the original clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccines, the researchers set out to find if the vaccine is excreted by the mammary glands and to what extent. No traces of the vaccine were found after 48 hours post-vaccination, said Dr. Nazeeh Hanna, corresponding author of the study. Hanna, the chief of neonatology at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, said his team believes “it is safe to breastfeed after maternal vaccination.”
However, he added “caution is warranted about breast feeding children younger than six months in the first 48 hours after maternal vaccination until more safety studies are conducted.”
Hanna told Newsmax that this is the first time traces of the vaccine have been found in an organ and his team’s study could lead to future research investigating if the vaccine infiltrates other organs, such as the heart, or the brain.
“Our data demonstrate for the first time the biodistribution of COVID-19 vaccine to mammary cells and the potential distribution to distant cells,” Hanna said. “In rats, up to three days following intramuscular distribution, low vaccine mRNA levels were detected in the heart, lung, testes, and brain tissues indicating tissue distributions.”
Hanna says more research is needed to evaluate the effect of the mRNA vaccines in our bodies as well as in breastfed children. “It is critical that lactating individuals be included in future vaccination trials to better evaluate the effect of mRNA vaccines on lactation outcomes,” he said.
“The main impact of our study is that the vaccine went from being injected into a muscle to the mammary gland,” he explains. “How did this happen? Does it travel into other organs? Perhaps the effect is beneficial, but we don’t know for sure because we haven’t studied this possibility. It’s ridiculous that more research hasn’t been done in this field.
“We believe that breastfeeding is safe because we detected a trace amount. However, the study had its limitations including the relatively small sample size and the lack of functional studies demonstrating if the detected vaccine mRNA is biologically active.”
Hanna said that while trace amounts of the mRNA vaccine were found in EBM, we don’t know the cumulative effect.
“A baby is fed every three to four hours, so we don’t know how much vaccine is actually transferred to the baby,” he said. “The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not advise vaccine exposure for infants under six months, so we are going against their recommendation by breastfeeding within 48 hours of receiving a vaccine.
“To be on the safe side, I would recommend that breastfeeding mothers pump and store breastmilk before vaccination and use it for the two days after vaccination, then back to normal again,” he said.
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