Ten researchers from the CDC’s National Centers for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD) released a paper arguing that because the immune-boosting effects of breastmilk inhibit the effects of the live oral rotavirus vaccine, nursing mothers should delay breastfeeding their infants.
This, dear readers, is the kind of convoluted logic that permeates the pharmaceutical industry. To be fair, the paper does not recommend that mothers stop breastfeeding, merely that they delay nursing at the time that the vaccine is administered. It also says that other avenues for boosting the vaccine’s efficacy should be explored.
Honestly, I don’t care how nuanced their recommendation is. Do they not realize what they have stumbled upon? In demonstrating that breastmilk counters the live vaccine, they’ve shown that breastmilk counters the virus.
A live vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus that causes the disease. The idea is that by presenting the weakened virus to your body, your immune system will develop an immune response to the virus sufficient to help you fight off a more virulent attack of the virus later. In other words, when your body is fighting off the live virus, it is effectively fighting off the virus itself, just in smaller quantities.
If breastmilk’s immune-boosting properties fight-off the live vaccine, then that means that breastmilk is fighting off the virus itself (just in smaller quantities).
Yet instead of recommending that the best way to fight this disease in infants is to encourage mothers to breastfeed, they’re recommending that mothers refrain from breastfeeding so that the vaccine can work!
I’m troubled by the underlying assumptions these researchers are making. They’re assuming, for example, that the vaccine should be used regardless of its efficacy. They’re assuming that the vaccine is better for the baby than breastfeeding. They’re assuming that the vaccine is safe. …
I think it’s interesting to note that the researchers aren’t asking about what’s best for the baby. The question they have in mind is quite focused: just how much does breastmilk neutralize the vaccine?
Arguably, it’s a win for nursing mothers everywhere since it proves just how effective breastmilk can be!
And yet, these researchers didn’t stop there. They took their snazzy results and had the audacity to call them a “negative effect” of breastfeeding.
Clearly, they have one goal in mind: to sell more vaccines.…
Of course we’re not supposed to even consider the obvious impact that interruptions in mother-child cuddling and bonding will have on the baby’s quality of life and expectations for the future. That’s not scientific.