COVID-19 Vaccine mRNAs Found In Vaccinated Women’s Breast Milk: STUDY

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Small levels of mRNAs from COVID-19 vaccines were found in women’s breast milk in a new, small study published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics, a specialized journal affiliated with the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Researchers from the New York University Long Island School of Medicine examined eleven lactating women and detected trace levels of mRNAs in seven milk samples from five of the participants. The study’s findings differ from previous research, which also examined a small number of subjects and found no mRNA in the mothers’ breast milk.

Samples were taken from the women up to 45 hours after vaccination. No mRNA was detected pre-vaccination or beyond 48 hours post-vaccination. The study authors concluded that they believe it is safe to breast feed after vaccination but that “caution is warranted” when breast feeding children younger than six months in the first 48 hours post-vaccination until more research is done.

It was unclear based on the samples collected whether or not the trace levels of mRNA were translationally active or not, and the researchers were unable to test whether there was a cumulative buildup of mRNA in children who are frequently breast fed post-vaccination. (RELATED: New COVID-19 Boosters To Be Authorized Without Human Trials Completed)

Ultimately, more research needs to be done because initial COVID-19 vaccine trials did not include pregnant and breastfeeding women in their subject pools, the study’s authors said. Early trials also did not include young children, which is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) waited until this year to authorize the vaccines for them.

The NYU researchers point out that, despite the relative lack of research done on breastfeeding women — just two small studies have been completed so far — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does recommend that those women get vaccinated against COVID-19.