Using COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding women

Laura Kearney, Regional Principal Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (Midlands site) & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory ServicePublished Last updated See all updates

Information concerning COVID-19 vaccination in breastfeeding women

Vaccination in breastfeeding women

Women may receive COVID-19 vaccines and continue to breastfeed. This advice applies to Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, or Moderna vaccines

As there is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines during breastfeeding the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines.

The JCVI state that the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for immunisation against COVID-19, and the woman should be informed about the absence of safety data for the vaccine in breastfeeding women.

You can find more information in the Public Health England’s Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (The Green book) and advice from Public Health England.

Recent advice regarding COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting should be taken into consideration regarding vaccine selection, but does not alter the general advice that breastfeeding can continue after vaccination.

As with any medication exposure during breastfeeding, infants should be monitored. If the infant is not feeding as well as usual, or if there are any other concerns, a healthcare professional should be contacted.

Change history

  1. Increased specificity for the link to: Public Health England’s Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (The Green book).
  2. Resources checked and information remains correct.
  1. Removed advice to consider finish breastfeeding before vaccination as per Public Health England Update.
  2. General monitoring advice added.
  3. Information added regarding vaccination and blood clotting
  4. Information added regarding the Moderna vaccine
  1. Published