The successful absorption of any Covid-19 vaccine, a crucial step in restoring a sense of normality after a year devastated by the coronavirus epidemic, can be impeded by widespread contamination from a range of chemicals used in everyday products.
Small amounts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (Or PFASChemicals are commonly found in people’s bodies in the United States, as well as many other countries. These chemicals are man-made, Used for everything From nonstick pans to waterproof clothing to pizza boxes, they have been linked to an increased risk of liver damage, decreased fertility and even cancer.
But scientists warn that some of these chemicals could also cause another unknown but potentially significant defect by reducing the effectiveness of some vaccines given. This handicap could overshadow efforts to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine to enough people so that restrictions on daily life are eased.
Philip Grandjin, assistant professor of environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health, said: “At this point, we do not know if it will affect vaccination against Corona, but it is dangerous.” “We have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.”
Research led by Grandjean has have found That children exposed to PFAS had significantly reduced antibody concentrations after administration of tetanus and diphtheria vaccines. A follow-up study of healthcare workers found similar results. Meanwhile, there is a specific type of PFAS, called perfluorobutyrate (or PFBA), Builds up in the lungs and can increase the severity of the disease experienced by people with Covid-19, a separate research by Grandjean, Not yet peer reviewed, and it has been suggested.
German company BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have sparked a wave of optimism about an imminent Covid vaccine after announcing that a competitor was 90% effective in preventing people from contracting the disease. The world behind the vaccine I had expected The virus will “hit its head” and help eliminate the epidemic that has paralyzed most of the world since the beginning of the year.
Pfizer vaccine is based on RNA genetic material, and it is uncertain whether PFAS contamination will disrupt its effectiveness in patients. But there are many other vaccine competitors that are formulated around protein mutations in the virus, similar to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines, and they may also have poor results in people who have taken PFAS.
“People with high exposure to PFAS have very low levels of unprotected antibodies after four diphtheria and tetanus vaccines,” Grandjean said. So if the Covid vaccine is similar, PFAS is likely blocking the vaccine response. But he is unknown at this point. “
The US President-elect, Joe Biden, has it promise To eliminate PFAS contaminants by classifying them as hazardous substances. it’s a appreciate More than 200 million Americans eat food and drink water containing PFAS, known as “chemicals forever” because it stays for a long time in the body, with hot spots in areas around military bases where the chemicals are used in fire fighting foam.
In spite of this, it requires only a few states Drinking water is largely free of PFASWhich is the situation that the Biden-controlled Environmental Protection Agency will do You might interfere In a new federal border.
Any new PFAS regulation will now have additional urgency, with a Covid vaccine expected for the vast majority of Americans by mid-2021. David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, said: “I am constantly concerned about exposure to both known and unknown PFAS, and the impacts. That it affects both our immune system and our health in general. ” “Exposure to FFS represents an urgent public health crisis”