COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and antibody response in lactating women: a prospective cohort study.
BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2021;(1):632
BACKGROUND Immunological protection via breastfeeding is well known. The immunological profile of human milk changes during lactation. No clinical trials have been conducted in lactating women with the newest mRNA vaccines against SARS- CoV-2. A Few studies have shown the presence of antibodies in breastmilk after vaccination. The aim of this work is to study possible antibodies transfer via breastmilk and also the immunological characteristics of lactating women compared to non-lactating women, after using the BNT162b2 Pfizer vaccine. METHODS This is a prospective cohort study with a convenience homogenous sample of 24 healthcare workers (14 lactating and 10 non-lactating women) enrolled at the time of COVID-19 vaccination. Clinical data was registered in a questionnaire. Titers of SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG, IgA and IgM were quantified in post vaccination blood and human milk. Antibody quantification was performed by an in-house ELISA to SARS-CoV-2 trimeric spike protein. RESULTS All women showed immunity after vaccination with positive antibodies for IgM, IgA and IgG antibodies. The dominant serum antibody response was IgG. Modest levels of antibodies in breastmilk of lactating mothers were observed in this study, especially IgG in 42.9%. There was a moderate association between higher titers of IgG and a longer duration of breastfeeding (R= 0.55, p=0.041). CONCLUSIONS Evidence of antibody transfer in human milk after COVID-19 vaccination is scarce. The presence of antibodies in human milk is reported, but immunization through breastfeeding is still to be established.
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination in Lactation: Assessment of Adverse Events and Vaccine Related Antibodies in Mother-Infant Dyads.
Frontiers in immunology. 2021;:777103
BACKGROUND Data regarding symptoms in the lactating mother-infant dyad and their immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination during lactation are needed to inform vaccination guidelines. METHODS From a prospective cohort of 50 lactating individuals who received mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 (mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2), blood and milk samples were collected prior to first vaccination dose, immediately prior to 2nd dose, and 4-10 weeks after 2nd dose. Symptoms in mother and infant were assessed by detailed questionnaires. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in blood and milk were measured by Pylon 3D automated immunoassay and ELISA. In addition, vaccine-related PEGylated proteins in milk were measured by ELISA. Blood samples were collected from a subset of infants whose mothers received the vaccine during lactation (4-15 weeks after mothers' 2nd dose). RESULTS No severe maternal or infant adverse events were reported in this cohort. Two mothers and two infants were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the study period before achieving full immune response. PEGylated proteins were not found at significant levels in milk after vaccination. After vaccination, levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM significantly increased in maternal plasma and there was significant transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2-Receptor Binding Domain (anti-RBD) IgA and IgG antibodies to milk. Milk IgA levels after the 2nd dose were negatively associated with infant age. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were not detected in the plasma of infants whose mothers were vaccinated during lactation. CONCLUSIONS COVID-19 mRNA vaccines generate robust immune responses in plasma and milk of lactating individuals without severe adverse events reported.