A growing body of scientific research links elevated PFAS chemical exposure with immune system harm and decreased response to vaccines, including studies showing a weaker response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations in infants and influenza vaccines for adults. Because of this link between PFAS chemical exposure and diminished effectiveness of some vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is examining whether exposure to the “forever chemicals” PFAS could affect the potential effectiveness and duration of a Covid-19 vaccine. More specifically, the CDC is currently carrying out a study looking at Covid-19 among healthcare workers and first responders to determine the association between PFAS in their blood and the risk of coronavirus infection and contracting Covid-19. The study will also gauge the connection of PFAS levels and antibody response to the coronavirus that may shed light on the potential impact of PFAS exposure on vaccine response and potential duration of vaccine protection.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the Defense Department have failed for decades to address the chemicals’ health risks. There are no federal limits on PFAS releases into air and drinking water sources, and no requirements to clean up PFAS pollution where it has been detected. To date, PFAS chemicals are allowed for use in food packaging, personal products, clothing and many other consumer products in the U.S.