Key Concept

Key Evidence: Pregnant women in Bangladesh who received the influenza vaccine had elevated levels of anti-influenza antibody in their breastmilk. The infants of mothers who received the vaccine during pregnancy had fewer episodes of respiratory illness with fever than the infants of mothers who did not receive the influenza vaccine during pregnancy. Further, exclusive breastfeeding was found to have a protective effect against respiratory illness with fever in infants.

Maertens K, De Schutter S, Braekmana BT et al. 2014. Breastfeeding after maternal immunization during pregnancy: Providing immunological protection to the newborn: A review. Vaccine. 32(16).
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Key Evidence: The breastmilk of mothers in Bangladesh who received the meningococcal vaccine during pregnancy had anti-meningococcal antibody levels at 3-6 months after delivery of four to five times higher than that of mothers who did not receive the vaccine.

From the VoICE Editors: Although this study was published in 2002, the data on this topic are sparse as it is methodologically difficult to conduct studies to evaluate the relationship between anti-meningococcal antibodies in breastmilk and protection.

Shahid NS, Steinhoff MC, Roy E et al. 2002. Placental and breast transfer of antibodies after maternal immunization with polysaccharide meningococal vaccine: a randomized, controlled evaluation. Vaccine. 20(17-18).
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