In the first nine months of this outbreak, 116 million babies were born worldwide, according to Unicef estimates.This has left researchers struggling to answer an important question: Can the virus be transmitted through breast milk? Some people think that it can be done. But as several groups of researchers tested for milk, they found no traces of the virus.Only antibodies said that drinking milk could protect babies from infection.
The next big question for breast milk researchers is whether the preventive benefit of the COVID vaccine can be passed on to infants. There were no trials for the vaccine, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, so researchers were required to find a qualifying breastfeeding woman to launch the vaccine.
Through the Facebook group, Rebecca Powell, a milk immunologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, found hundreds of doctors and nurses willing to periodically share breast milk. In her latest study, which has not yet been officially published, she analyzed the milk of six vaccinated women. Pfizer-BioNTech and four others who received Moderna vaccine 14 days after the woman received a second vaccination. She found a large number of an antibody called IgG. Other researchers came up with similar results.
“There’s a reason to be excited,” he said. Dr. Kathryn Gray, an expert in fetal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who conducted a similar study, “We think it can provide some degree of protection.”
But how do we know? One way to test this – exposing those babies to the virus – is certainly unethical. But some researchers try to answer that question by studying the properties of the antibodies. They neutralize, meaning they prevent the virus from infecting human cells.
In a small study draft, one Israeli researcher found that they do: “Breast milk has the ability to prevent the spread of the virus and block the ability of the virus to infect the host’s cells, which in turn has an effect. Cause illness, ”wrote Yarifwine, an applied immunologist at Tel Aviv University, in an email.
Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo The head of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Rochester University Medical Center said early research was too early for mothers who received the vaccine who were breastfeeding to act as though their babies were unable to become infected. . Jarvinen-Seppo A similar study was conducted. “There is no direct evidence that the covid antibody in breast milk is protecting the baby – there is only one evidence that it might be,” she said.