Researchers at the University of Florida have demonstrated further evidence that breast milk from women vaccinated against COVID-19 provides protection for infants who are ineligible for vaccination because of their age. The study is published in the Journal of Perinatology.
Thirty-seven mothers and 25 infants participated in the study. Researchers analyzed the women’s breast milk and stool samples from the babies. The study also measured and tested antibodies found in the mothers’ plasma and breast milk shortly after vaccination as well as six months later.
The researchers showed that the antibodies found in the infants’ stools provided protection against the virus. Although the virus that causes COVID-19 mainly affects the lungs, it can also enter the intestines, so finding antibodies there is important, the researchers said. They also noted that antibodies that come with breast milk can form a protective coating in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract of infants.