“Scientists Warn ‘Forever Chemicals’ Could Limit Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines,” The News & Observer
December 18, 2020
Exposure to a group of substances known as “forever chemicals” could hinder how some respond to the COVID-19 vaccine, scientists said Thursday.
Jamie DeWitt, an East Carolina University toxicologist, said research has shown that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) leads to immune system suppression. That could pose a challenge for vaccines that are widely seen as critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, including across a wide swath of North Carolina.
“The vaccine is going to be effective based on its formulation,” DeWitt said. “What PFAS affect is the body’s ability to make antibodies against the vaccine.”
The scientists spoke during a press briefing by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental nonprofit that researches drinking water pollution and toxic chemicals.