Why do some people think that breastfed babies are reacting to the COVID-19 vaccines that their moms are getting?
The usual suspects…
Are Breastfeeding Babies Reacting to COVID-19 Vaccines?
And a post about a reaction in a friend of a friend’s baby…
A post that for better effect, was mixed with another post of a child with a rash and fever.
A post that highlights why a child’s signs and symptoms might not be related to their mother’s recent COVID-19 vaccine!
What’s the most likely reaction for a young child to have a rash and fever?
No, it is almost certainly not a reaction to his mother’s recent COVID-19 vaccine. The most likely reason is that the child has a viral infection like roseola, a common cause of fever and rashes in children.
And even though there is a VAERS report that exactly matches the story of the infant with TTP, that also isn’t proof that is a vaccine injury. Reports like this are helpful as experts look for safety signals to see if vaccines are really causing issues.
Can Vaccines Cause TTP?
A safety signal like thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP)?
“Thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP) is a rare, serious blood disease. Major symptoms may include a severe decrease in the number of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia), abnormal destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia) and disturbances in the nervous system and other organs occur as a result of small clots that form in the smallest arteries. The exact cause of TTP is unknown.”National Organization for Rare Disorders on TTP
Do vaccines cause TTP?
“Hereditary TTP is rare, and its prevalence is uncertain (Table 1). Although most estimates suggest a prevalence of 0.5 to 2 cases per million population…”Hereditary Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
We don’t know what exactly causes TTP in most cases, but it is so rare, it is unlikely that vaccines are commonly associated with TTP.
“Hereditary thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), also known as Upshaw–Schulman syndrome (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man number, 274150), is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by ADAMTS13 mutations that result in the absence or severe deficiency of the plasma metalloprotease ADAMTS13. ADAMTS13 is required for cleavage of newly synthesized von Willebrand factor multimers. Decreased ADAMTS13 activity is associated with an increased size of von Willebrand factor multimers and an increased risk of microvascular thrombosis. Patients with hereditary TTP may appear to be healthy, but their increased risk of critical thrombosis is always present.”Hereditary Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
While there are a few case reports of vaccines being associated with TTP, it is thought that bacterial and viral infections are the typical triggers.
In fact, experts typically recommend that patients with known TTP get vaccinated and protected with a COVID-19 vaccine!
Breastfeeding and Vaccine Side Effects
But isn’t it possible for a breastfeeding baby to have an adverse event from a vaccine that their mother received?
“In April, 2009, the state health department of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, was notified by the Cachoeira do Sul municipal health department of a case of meningoencephalitis requiring hospitalization in an infant whose mother recently had received yellow fever vaccine during a postpartum visit.”Transmission of yellow fever vaccine virus through breast-feeding – Brazil, 2009
It is, and that’s why there are warnings about some vaccines while a mother is breastfeeding.
“The findings in this report provide documentation that yellow fever vaccine virus can be transmitted via breast-feeding. Administration of yellow fever vaccine to breast-feeding women should be avoided except in situations where exposure to yellow fever viruses cannot be avoided or postponed.”Transmission of yellow fever vaccine virus through breast-feeding – Brazil, 2009
The concern when breastfeeding is typically about a few live vaccines, like the yellow fever vaccine, and the smallpox vaccine (contraindicated) though.
“COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals.”Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19
And although specific studies are ongoing, experts advise that breastfeeding moms can also safely get a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s certainly better than getting COVID-19!
Breastfeeding and Vaccine Side Effect Fact Check
There is no evidence that breastfeeding babies are having side effects, and certainly not severe side effects, after their mothers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
More on Breastfeeding and COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Update
- Vaccines in Pregnancy
- Influenza and Tdap Vaccination Rates Among Pregnant Women
- Did the FDA Admit That the Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines for Pregnant Women?
- Why is the Tdap Vaccine in Category C?
- Is the La Leche League Anti-Vaccine?
- Is It a Vaccine Reaction?
- Should I Blame the Vaccine If I’m Sick and I Just Got Vaccinated?
- Mistaking Subsequence for Consequence
- Fact check: Nursing newborns are not having reactions to COVID-19 vaccine
- ACOG – Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19
- National Organization for Rare Disorders on TTP
- TTP and the COVID-19 Vaccine
- Congenital thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Congenital TTP: toward a turning point
- ISTH guidelines for the diagnosis of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Good practice statements (GPS) for the clinical care of patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Hereditary Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- COVID-19 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study
- Quantification of specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk of lactating women vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine
- Transmission of yellow fever vaccine virus through breast-feeding – Brazil, 2009
- Tertiary contact vaccinia in a breastfeeding infant