Background: CDC guidelines have recommended coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccination for all people 5 years and older, including people who are breastfeeding. Breast milk has shown to be a valuable source of protection for immune-immature neonates. It has been shown that breast milk from mothers who have received vaccinations can transfer antibodies. Aim/Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis investigate the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human breast milk after vaccination. Methods: Studies that evaluated immunoglobulins in breast milk of women receiving a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were included. PubMed, Embase, Web of Science were searched for articles published between December 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021. Data from relevant articles were extracted manually or by WebPlotDigitizer version 4.1 to obtain the numeric values of antibody levels on peak days and the peak day then condensed into Excel. Additional raw data and information were supplied by corresponding authors. Results: One hundred ninety-two articles were obtained from the search. After excluding duplicates, screening titles and abstracts, 18 cohort studies were identified. For the rate of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in breast milk after the first vaccine dose but before the second vaccine dose, we found 64% (95% CI 51-78%) were positive for IgA and 30% (95% CI 13.1-46%) were positive for IgG. For the rate for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in breast milk after the second vaccine dose, we found 70% (95% CI 55-86%) were positive for IgA and 91% (95% CI 80-103%) were positive for IgG. Conclusions: Our analysis of the data published worldwide showed high rates of positivity for antibodies in breast milk following COVID-19 immunizations. Further research is necessary to find if the rate of positivity of IgA and IgG against SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk persists months after the full immunization, and their impact on the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in infants.

  • Parents/caregivers
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • Efficacy/effectiveness
  • Administration
  • COVID-19