Controversy erupts over mRNA in breast milk study

A recent study published in The Lancet has raised concerns regarding the presence of mRNA in breast milk after COVID-19 vaccination. The study found that only trace quantities of mRNA vaccine were present in breast milk and determined that breastfeeding post-vaccination is safe for infants. Despite those findings, prominent social media figures have suggested that mRNA in breast milk could lead to strokes, neurological events, and other adverse effects in infants.

Risk level: High

Recommendation: Misinterpreting data is a common tactic used to spread misinformation. In this case, social media users took a study’s finding—that trace quantities of mRNA vaccines can be present in breast milk—and used that information to support their own unsubstantiated conclusions. These social media posts may discourage breastfeeding patients from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall. It is recommended that doctors be prepared for questions about the safety of the updated COVID-19 vaccine from breastfeeding patients and emphasize that the updated COVID-19 vaccine is safe for breastfeeding people and their infants.