MU Researcher to Conduct COVID-19 Vaccine Study Involving Breastfeeding Mothers and Newborns

Breastfeeding mother

Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine are conducting a pilot study to examine the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on new mothers and their newborns.

The study will investigate the immune response in the blood, the impact on antibodies in breastmilk and the antibody levels in their infants.

 Albert Hsu, MD
 Albert Hsu, MD

“Given the hormonal and immune changes associated with pregnancy, very little is known about whether the COVID-19 vaccines are most effective for moms during pregnancy or after delivery,” said principal investigator Albert Hsu, MD, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology. “We are conducting this study to learn more about the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and also in their infants.”

Hsu’s team is seeking pregnant women who intend to breastfeed, as well as postpartum women who have or have not been breastfeeding, to participate in this study. They are also interested in getting blood samples from infants starting at two weeks after birth, once it is medically safe to do so, to compare their antibody levels with the antibodies in their mothers’ blood and breastmilk.  Researchers will collect blood samples and breastmilk over the course of 12 months.

“The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Drug Administration have safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and early data from these systems have not identified any safety concerns for women or their babies,” Hsu said. “We encourage those who meet the criteria for this study to sign up and contribute to our knowledge of the potential benefits and impacts of these vaccines on new mothers and their babies.”

The research team is particularly interested in recruiting some pregnant women who have decided to delay receiving the COVID-19 vaccine until after delivery, and would be willing to provide blood samples both before and after their get their vaccine postpartum.

Those eligible and interested in participating in this study will receive $20 for each sample provided. If interested, go to

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