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Breast milk from infected women vaccinated against coronavirus contains antibodies to COVID-19

16 June 2021

Sant Joan de Déu is participating in the MilkCorona initiative, the first study to compare the effects of three vaccines on breast milk.

Two studies led by researchers from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), a centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), together with the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu (IRSJD), among others, have determined the impact of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection on breastfeeding.

The studies found no traces of virus in any of the milk samples tested and most showed specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in both naturally infected and vaccinated women. In the second case, antibody levels varied according to the vaccine received. These are the first studies of their kind in Spain, and the first worldwide to compare the effects of the three vaccines in breast milk.

Both studies are the result of the MilkCorona study, an initiative with the main objective of studying the impact of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination on breast milk. In addition, the aim is to find out if the immune response depends on vaccination, if the levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are comparable to those of women who suffered COVID-19, as well as the impact of vaccination on these women.

On behalf of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona, researchers Carles Lerín, Vicky Fumadó, Fàtima Crispi and Francesca Crovetto have participated in these studies.