According to a study published in the Lancet in September, mRNA has been detected in breast milk after the COVID-19 vaccination.
The mRNA from COVID-19 immunizations “spreads systemically” throughout the body, according to a recent Lancet research, and can even end up in breast milk given to newborns by their immunized mothers. This finding supports a growing body of data.
Study Found mRNA in 70 Percent of Breast Milk Samples
Researchers found mRNA in 70% of the women who gave breast milk samples up to 45 hours after immunization in the September Lancet publication (pdf below). Further study is required, according to the researchers, to establish the minimal quantity of mRNA that might initiate an immunological response in infants, despite the fact that the mRNA identified was highly fragmented and only kept 12 to 25% of its original integrity.
Before the vaccine and at least twice daily for five days following the inoculation, researchers collected breast milk samples from 13 nursing, healthy postpartum mothers. After receiving their first and second vaccination doses, seven moms donated breast milk, resulting in 154 breast milk samples and 20 total vaccine exposures.
Then, vaccine mRNA in entire breast milk and breast milk extracellular vesicles was analyzed. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are tiny delivery systems secreted by cells that transport macromolecules such as messenger RNA, DNA, noncoding RNA, lipids, and proteins. EVs, which play a significant role in regulating gene expression, immunological response, development, and newborn growth, are abundant in breast milk.
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Trace mRNA levels were found in 10 of 20 exposures up to 45 hours after immunization in the 13 nursing women who got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was not expressed, according to the study.
All individuals tested negative for COVID-19 prior to breast milk collection, and prevaccination samples tested negative for COVID-19 vaccine mRNA. Although it was required of all women to produce samples of 5 milliliters or more, the trial was hampered by the fact that real quantities were frequently below the cutoff.
“Our proposed model suggests that after intramuscular administration, the vaccine mRNA enclosed in lipid nanoparticles is transported to the mammary glands through either hematogenous or lymphatic pathways,” the researchers wrote. “Within the mammary cells’ cytosol, a portion of the released vaccine mRNA is recruited and packaged into the developing extracellular vesicles, which are then released into the breast milk.”
Safety Assessment of Future mRNA-Based Therapies Needed
The significance of the study, according to the researchers, goes beyond the realm of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and provides “valuable insights into the transport and presence of vaccine mRNA in breast milk, which can be relevant for assessing the safety and efficacy of future mRNA-based therapies administered to lactating women.”
It’s sad that so many people have missed the study’s true significance, lead author Dr. Nazeeh Hanna, chairman of the neonatology section at NYU Langone Hospital and professor of pediatrics at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, told The Epoch Times in an email.
“It is not about the COVID vaccine only but future mRNA therapy that is currently being developed,” Dr. Hanna said. “We need to make sure we get it right for the next time. This is what we wrote in the conclusion of the Lancet paper.”
According to the study’s findings, Dr. Hanna said he doesn’t think there’s a risk to nursing if a mother waits two days after receiving the vaccine because they didn’t find vaccine mRNA beyond that period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) permit the vaccination of newborns at 6 months of age or older, therefore he does not believe there is a risk if a mother receives a vaccination while nursing a kid older than 6 months.
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Dr. Hanna advises moms with babies less than 6 months to speak with their doctor, who will advise either of the following two options:
“Continue breastfeeding since the associated risk is low,” or “temporarily pause breastfeeding for these two days post-vaccination and use previously stored breast milk to feed the child—this is a common practice by many breastfeeding mothers. Once the 2-day period is over, the mother can resume breastfeeding.”
Other Studies Suggest mRNA Can Transfer Through Breast Milk
Pfizer and Moderna never carried out human pharmacokinetic investigations with COVID-19 vaccinations and excluded pregnant and nursing women from their clinical trials. Pharmacokinetic studies examine how the body responds to the mRNA (also known as “modified RNA”) in vaccines during the course of exposure, demonstrating how the vaccine’s components are transported throughout the body and eliminated.
In spite of the uncertainties, the CDC and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology started advising pregnant and lactating women to get the COVID-19 vaccination in July 2021.
The Lancet study is not the first to make the case that mRNA from COVID-19 immunizations may possibly pass from moms who have recently received the vaccine through breast milk to newborns. According to a Nature article from August 2021, breastfeeding women who got the COVID-19 vaccination from Pfizer produced SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA and IgG antibodies into breast milk, with the greatest rise occurring three to seven days after the second dosage of the vaccine.
The majority of moms showed “detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes and neutralizing antibodies in serum and breastmilk,” particularly after receiving their second Pfizer vaccination dosage, according to a 2022 research published in Frontiers Immunology that examined samples from 35 nursing mothers. Although researchers came to the conclusion that breastfed newborns of immunized mothers “likely lack significant exposure or sensitization” as a result of low amounts of mRNA present in breast milk, they only examined the serums of five infants over the age of 8 months to make that conclusion.
Adverse Events Reported in Nursing Infants
The CDC claims that “available data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccination while breastfeeding indicates no severe reactions after the first or second dose, neither in the breastfeeding person nor the breastfed child,” and that there is “no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to either people who have received a vaccine and are breastfeeding or to their babies.”
Contrarily, 215 reports of infant exposure to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines through lactation reported to the company’s safety database are supported by private Pfizer documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in April 2021, before the June 2021 recommendation that pregnant and lactating women get vaccinated.
“The following is the symptom text reported for an infant (VAERS ID: 1124474) who was exposed via breast milk at the age of 12 months. ‘Mother of 12-month-old boy received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at 9:15 am she breastfed her 12-month-old son 3 hours later, and while breastfeeding, the child developed acute anaphylaxis,'” Ms. Rose said. “To be clear: mother had the vaccine, and the child had the reaction.”
More than 85% of 180 nursing mothers who got the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination had local or systemic symptoms, with a higher frequency after the second dose, according to a 2021 research published in Breastfeeding Medicine. Infants who were breastfeeding reported “few symptoms” that were deemed “not serious.”
Data Show Widespread Distribution of mRNA
Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) carrying mRNA might migrate through immunization to the mammary glands, according to data showing that LNPs can move throughout the body to numerous tissues and organs. A Pfizer biodistribution research in rats, which Byram Bridle, a Canadian virologist and vaccine specialist, got from Japan, demonstrated that LNPs may penetrate biological tissues and membranes and reach different organs.
In the biodistribution research, 75% of LNPs were localized in the liver and spleen and had exited the injection site after 48 hours following immunization. Additionally, levels were found in the thymus, bone marrow, brain, eyes, heart, testicles, uterus, pituitary, spinal cord, and adrenal glands.
However, no human biodistribution data are presently available for any of the two approved products—SPIKEVAX and Comirnaty—despite the fact that comparable vaccine formulations were monitored in various rat tissues up to five days post-injection by Moderna and 14 days by Pfizer, according to a 2022 article in Biomedicines. Researchers found mRNA in blood 15 days after immunization in the same trial.
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, other studies found spike proteins in the exosomes that circulate in the blood and transmit nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and metabolites throughout the body for at least four months.