A baby contracted Yellow Fever through breastfeeding after the mother was vaccinated for Yellow Fever in anticipation of a trip to Venezuela. As you would expect, the yellow fever vaccine is live attenuated. Doctor’s recommend that women do not breastfeed after receiving the vaccine because of the assumed risk. As a result, this case showing a link between breastfeeding and contraction of the disease by the child is the first. Obviously, mothers should steer clear of live vaccines when breastfeeding. As we’ve learned, an inactivated vaccine cannot become infectious and would therefore pose less risk for breastfeeding babies. This confirms one more issue to add to our pros and cons of live-attenuated and inactivated vaccines.
However, just to be on the safe side, doctors recommend that parents avoid traveling with children until their child is old enough to be vaccinated.