CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Centers for Disease Control said new mothers that are fully vaccinated could pass on COVID-19 antibodies to their infant while nursing.
Teresa Cadena is a nurse and worked throughout most of her pregnancy during the pandemic. She got her first dose of the vaccine as soon as it became available to her in December of last year.
Now, when she is not caring for patients, she dedicates her time to caring for her 16-month-old son Toby. Cadena said she's nursing her son for a little longer than usual to protect him from COVID-19 until the vaccine is approved for his age group.
"Giving the babies antibodies through my breast milk, through my body would be the only way that I could protect him during the pandemic," said Cadena.
Data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
Laurie Beck is a registered nurse lactation consultant at Driscoll Children's hospital. She said there's no evidence that suggest you can pass COVID-19 to your baby while nursing.
"What they are finding again with the vaccine is that within about a week after getting the vaccine these moms are having antibodies in their breast milk for the baby," said Beck.
Cadena said she was originally scared to get her COVID-19 vaccine and decided to take it after speaking to her physician.
"And I figured if this is the only way that I can help protect my baby, that this was the best way to do it," said Cadena.
The COVID-19 vaccine just became eligible to those ages five to 11 last week. There is no projected date for a vaccine for those under the age of four just yet.