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COVID 19 Vaccination antibodies passed to toddler?

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  • COVID 19 Vaccination antibodies passed to toddler?

    Will the antibodies I produce from the covid 19 vaccination be passed to my nursing toddler and provide some form of temporary passive immunity?

    From this study linked below it shows that antibodies stay in the babies gut and there wouldn’t be any systemic protection unless it’s against gastrointestinal diseases.

    Am I wrong to assume that my child will gain some protection against covid via my breastmilk after I’m vaccinated ?




    “. In humans, in whom gut closure occurs precociously, breast milk antibodies do not enter neonatal/infant circulation. A large part of immunoglobulins excreted in milk are IgA that protect mainly against enteric infections.
    The specificity of maternal milk IgA is driven by an entero-mammary cell circulation. Human milk also contains anti-idiotypic antibodies capable of enhancing infant antibody response. Maternal milk antibodies coat infant mucosal surfaces and some have a clear protective role.”


  • #2
    Hi Gillian,

    This is a great question and one that we are very interested in. Overall, we believe that antibodies ARE absorbed to some extent by the infant. The body purposely transfers some antibodies into milk, they are much too large to get into milk by accident. It is hard to believe that it would not then be of any benefit.

    Keep in mind that the article you included is from 2003--we've had almost 20 years to improve our knowledge. Antibodies do play a role in protecting mucosal surfaces. However, we now believe that at least for some antibodies, there is a mechanism to transfer them across the GI tract.

    As to how this relates to the COVID vaccine, it is something we still do not have good information about. If I run across anything that might help, I will let you know.

    Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD


    • #3
      Thank you that makes a lot sense.


      • #4


        • #5
          Hi Gillian,

          Thanks for sharing! I've had the pleasure of listening to one of the authors, Dr. Powell, speak on their exciting findings. However, unfortunately, we need more research on the body's response to the vaccine versus its response to the virus.



          • #6
            Interesting and exciting find of a small study.



            Importance: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has infected over a hundred million people worldwide, with almost 2.5 million deaths at the date of this publication. In the United States, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were first administered to the public starting in December 2020, and no lactating women were included in the initial trials of safety/efficacy. Research on SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in lactating women and the potential transmission of passive immunity to the infant through breast milk is needed to guide patients, clinicians and policy makers during the worldwide effort to curb the spread of this virus.

            Objective: To determine whether SARS-CoV-2 specific immunoglobins are found in breast milk post-vaccination, and to characterize the time course and types of immunoglobulins present.

            Design: Prospective cohort study

            Setting: Providence Portland Medical Center, Oregon, USA

            Participants: Six lactating women who planned to receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine between December 2020 and January 2021. Breast milk samples were collected pre-vaccination and at 11 additional timepoints, with last sample at 14 days post 2nd dose of vaccine.

            Exposure: Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

            Main Outcome(s) and Measure(s): Levels of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA and IgG immunoglobulins in breast milk.

            Results: In this cohort of 6 lactating women who received 2 doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, we observed significantly elevated levels of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and IgA antibodies in breast milk beginning at Day 7 after the initial vaccine dose, with an IgG-dominant response.

            Conclusions and Relevance: We are the first to show that maternal vaccination results in SARS-CoV-2 specific immunoglobulins in breast milk that may be protective for infants.


            • #7

              This is a great find and great news! Their data falls right in line with what we expected for IgG and IgA antibodies produced by the vaccine. We will be reviewing this article to distribute through the InfantRisk Center's website and social media accounts. However, we have to keep in mind that this is a pre-printed article, meaning that it has not yet been through the rigorous peer-review process to help establish its validity and credibility.

              Thank you for the heads up!
              Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, MBA, BCPS


              • #8
                What degree of protection can you guess the nursing child will receive from the breastmilk when I’m fully vaccinated ?


                • #9

                  Some at the beginning because your IgG1 has passed to the infant in utero. However, this wanes in several months. Then, the only immunoglobulin in milk in significant amounts is IgA. We do not know how much if any IgA is 'absorbed' by the infant. Thus I'd bet that the plasma IgG levels drop by 3 months.



                  • #10
                    If this is in regard to a nursing toddler - I should assume that my breastmilk when I’m vaccinated wouldn't provide much protection against COVID?
                    Last edited by Gillian; 03-21-2021, 04:50 PM.