Studies released in the past few days indicated that after vaccination with vaccines Covid-19, A breastfeeding woman produces milk that contains antibodies to the new coronavirus. we United StateMovements are already in place to resume breastfeeding in search of protection for children. Although this is positive news, pediatricians warn that research has not yet proven whether babies are actually developing immunity, and if so, how long it will last.
At the end of March, a study was released that included 131 women of childbearing age, including pregnant and lactating women, who received two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna. Monitoring showed the presence of antibodies in the cord blood and breast milk of the participants.
The researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Ragone Institute at MGH, MIT and Harvard, also compared the antibodies produced by the infected women and those from vaccination, and found a much higher number among those who were vaccinated.
Published on March 30, a study conducted by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis also found antibodies to the virus and found that they will appear two weeks after the first dose of the vaccine, and stay for at least 80 days – the time the research has continued -. Researchers suggest that they can pass through breastfeeding infants and provide some form of protection. The study was peer-reviewed, looking at a small group of only five mothers who had been vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and had infants between the ages of one month and two years.
Recently, an Israeli poll published by the Scientific Journal Gamma Last Monday, 12, he indicated the presence of specific antibodies to Sars-CoV-2 in a group of 84 women who provided 504 samples of breast milk throughout the study period, which ran from December 20, 2020, to December 15 of this year. Samples were collected prior to administration of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, and after two weeks of immunization, specimen collection began weekly for a period of six weeks.
The Pfizer vaccine, which has an efficacy of 95%, has yet to be implemented in Brazil, but the government has signed a contract to purchase 100 million doses. Of this total, it is projected to 15.5 million This semester arrives.
The pediatrician in the breastfeeding department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), Moises Chencinski, explains that among the recommendations for breastfeeding, is the fact that the child conveys information about the infectious state when he is sick, causing the breast milk to begin to pass antibodies. “It is the secretion of immunoglobulin IgA, which protects against gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, and IgG, which gives longer immunity. What the study shows is that six weeks after the vaccine, IgA and IgG of Sars-CoV- 2, which matters Those who got the vaccine, and no serious side events have been reported. ”
Despite the encouraging results, Chinsinski cautions that more studies should be done to evaluate the true effects of these antibodies on children. “What are the limitations of this study?” It does not allow to conclude that the child is protected against Covid-19 disease and it is not known how long the immunity will last. The study only showed that it has antibody production and that it passes into the milk, but not the amount of antibodies that transfer to the milk protect the child. “This does not in any way exempt the mother from properly protecting herself. Therefore, she must still wear a mask, hand hygiene and social distancing.”
The pediatrician says resuming breastfeeding, as American mothers have done, can have positive aspects. However, the most important thing is not to interrupt breastfeeding before what the health authorities recommend, which recommend exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months and supplementing it with other foods for up to two years or more.
“This gave birth to another problem. They started breastfeeding again, but they take milk and put it in the food and drink of other children. As for other children close to the family. This has the advantage of being a hybridization of the breast and it is completely contraindicated because it brings risks of infection to other diseases,” he says. The expert.
The head of the immunization department at SBP, Renato Kfoury, says that the outcome of the research was indeed expected. “When a pregnant woman’s vaccination is promoted, the trend is that through the placenta, the antibodies are passed on to the child. Whooping cough vaccine, also tetanus vaccine. Influenza vaccine, but it is lower. The level of excretion in breast milk.”
Although making sure the antibodies protect the baby, according to him, studies still need to verify, for example, when the best time to immunize pregnant women is to ensure the antibodies are passed on to the babies. In addition, the event occurs according to the immunization factor that a pregnant or breastfeeding woman takes.
“The degree of protection is unknown if she is vaccinated in the first trimester or in the last. In the event that the mother is infected with the virus during pregnancy, she is already more consistent and it has been discovered that the children are born with antibodies to the virus, but it was not possible to determine the level of protection of the newborn, even Because the disease is rare in a newborn, “he adds.
Breastfeeding is recommended in cases of infection with the Coronavirus and vaccination for lactating women
What has not changed, according to both experts, is guidance to continue breastfeeding even in cases of COVID-19. “The recommendation regarding breastfeeding is still applicable with care, in mild or important cases, as long as the mother is suffering from conditions. She can breastfeed with a mask or express milk for someone else. Other baby care can be made by someone else as well.” You cannot donate milk infected with the severe virus, “says Chinsinski.
Last month, the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics published a scientific document indicating vaccination for breastfeeding mothers, given that there are no specific studies on immunizing this group. “The directive follows what has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which clearly states that if a breastfeeding woman belongs to a group in which vaccination is recommended, it should be provided. In addition, SBP does not recommend stopping breastfeeding after vaccination.”
The document also says that the two vaccines available so far in Brazil, Coronavac and Oxford, “are theoretically considered inactivated vaccines.” He adds: “The main national document that defines vaccination procedures in the Unified Health System (SUS), cautiously directs the vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women, in case the woman and the doctor who prescribed it decide, in a joint way.