WHO recommends that breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated against COVID-19

WHO recommends that breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated against COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has maintained it does not recommend that women vaccinated against COVID-19 discontinue breastfeeding. Though the international health agency recommends the coronavirus vaccine in adults, including lactating women, it has been previously reported that mRNA could be transferred to children via breast milk.

No detectable levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) from vaccines against COVID-19 were found in human milk, according to a new study that analyzed the post-vaccination breast milk samples of seven women earlier this year. 

"We didn’t detect the vaccine-associated mRNA in any of the milk samples tested," said study lead Dr. Yarden Golan, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "These findings provide an experimental evidence regarding the safety of the use of mRNA-based vaccines during lactation." 

Findings of the small study, approved by the UCSF institutional review board and published earlier this month in JAMA Pediatrics, comes amid concerns that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines - both of which contain mRNA - could have a negative impact on mothers and their breastfeeding children. 

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