The COVID-19 pandemic, going into its 3rd year, has come with an incredible amount of controversy, and the uncertainties are not waning. The development of a vaccine has not made the facts any clearer. 

Pregnant and nursing mothers in particular, are desperately searching for answers, particularly as vaccine trials are typically not performed on breastfeeding mothers.  Should nursing mothers take the COVID vaccine? This is what the authorities say:

It is highly recommended —WHO

“Based on all the evidence that we have, it is not only safe for breastfeeding mothers to be vaccinated, but it is also highly recommended. It is important for her own health that she be protected from COVID-19 and that she’s able to take care of her family as best as possible and doesn’t get too sick. There is no evidence that the vaccine would allow for the virus to be transmitted to the child. And there is no reason that the vaccine would be any less effective in a breastfeeding mother than in a non breastfeeding mother. We would definitely recommend that she should be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to her to protect her and the community around her”. 

READ ALSO: Abia nursing mothers recount benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, give credit to UNICEF

Vaccine unlikely to cross to breast milk — NATURE

“Unlike the yellow-fever vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines do not carry a risk of igniting an active infection. In addition, COVID-19 vaccines are extremely unlikely to cross into breast milk. The fragile messenger RNA used in the Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, for example, is designed to break down so quickly that it should never leave the cells where it was injected let alone get into the bloodstream and then the breast. In fact, researchers don’t expect that any of the current vaccines will be excreted into breast milk”.

Vaccine safe, effective during pregnancy — Havard

“COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant. It helps to become as informed as you can when making your decision. We will continue to learn more about COVID vaccine safety during pregnancy from ongoing studies. Right now, we know that COVID-19 puts people who are pregnant at higher risk for serious illness and hospitalization. New evidence shows that the vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy, which is why the CDC, ACOG, and SMFM recommend them.”

The vaccine you will have depends on age —NHS, UK

“You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccines and cannot pass it to your baby through your breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding, the vaccines you can have depends on your age. If you’re 40 or over, you can have any of the COVID-19 vaccines.If you’re under 40 and do not have a health condition that increases your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, it’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. The Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are preferable in people under 40 because of an extremely rare blood clotting problem linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine”.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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