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COVID-19 Vaccine Likely Safe for Lactating Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 -- Women should not stop breastfeeding in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a statement released by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and published online Dec. 23 in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Given that lactating women have not been included in COVID-19 vaccine trials, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine relied on biological plausibility and expert opinion to inform its statement.

The academy found little biological plausibility that the vaccine will cause harm and further says that antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in breast milk may protect the child. In addition, the statement suggests lactating women discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their health care provider. An informed decision should be based on the patient's risk for contracting COVID-19 and for developing severe disease.

"The available information is reassuring; however, pregnant and lactating people deserve better than plausibility to guide medical decisions," Alison Stuebe, M.D., president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, said in a statement. "Henceforward, phase 3 clinical trials should routinely include pregnant and lactating participants. It is time to protect pregnant and breastfeeding individuals through research, not from research."

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Posted: January 2021

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