Induction of SARS-CoV-2-Specific IgG and IgA in Serum and Milk with Different SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in Breastfeeding Women: A Cross-Sectional Study in Northern Spain

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 21;18(16):8831. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168831.


Breastfeeding mothers were excluded from the clinical trials conducted for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Since the start of the vaccination, some doubts have arisen regarding its compatibility with breastfeeding. The aim of this study was to analyse the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in breast milk and serum (IgG and IgA) of vaccinated breastfeeding women. The main variables of the observational study were: adverse related events after vaccination and determination of the presence of IgG and IgA isotypes antibodies in serum and in breast milk of vaccinated women against the SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Results: 110 breastfeeding mothers were included; 70 women (63.6%) were vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2, 20 women (18.2%) with two doses of mRNA-1273, and 20 women (18.2%) with a single dose of ChAdOx1-S. Regarding adverse reactions and vaccine safety, 38 women had no adverse reactions; 20 (18.2%) had general malaise or adenopathies; 10 (9.1%) had a headache; and 7 (6.4%) had fever. When analysing IgG antibodies, significantly higher levels of antibodies were found in serum and breast milk from mothers vaccinated with BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vs. ChAdOx1-S (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). Analysing IgA antibodies, significant differences were found when comparing mean values in serum from mothers vaccinated with BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vs. ChAdOx1-S (0.12, 0.16, and 0.02, respectively; p < 0.001) and breast milk of mothers vaccinated when comparing BNT16b2 vs. ChAdOx1-S. All vaccinated breastfeeding mothers had serum anti-S1 IgG antibodies in response to vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the commercial vaccine administered. Conclusions: the anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were well tolerated by the mothers and the breastfed infant. In addition, breastfeeding mothers offer their infants IgA and IgG isotype antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2 protein S in breast milk.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; antibodies; breast milk; breastfeeding; maternal immunity; neonatal immunity.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • Breast Feeding
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Milk, Human
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • BNT162 Vaccine