Mass PFAS-Cov Study

A Research Study investigating Immune Response to

COVID-19 Vaccines in Relation to Exposure to

Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS)

Participant Information

Who is eligible to participate?

To be a Study-participant, you need to:

  • be 12 years old and over, AND

  • have not been already vaccinated or have been vaccinated in the last two weeks, AND

  • not be sick with a fever (greater than 100.4° F) currently, AND

  • not having any immunocompromising condition such as Cancer, HIV, organ transplant, or any radiation therapy, AND

  • currently reside in Massachusetts.

How do interested people apply?

Click the link here or at the top of the page to fill out the questionnaire.

What is required of participants and when?

If you agree to take part in this study and meet the screening criteria:

  1. You will be asked to go to a website and take a short survey.

  2. You will receive a sample kit.

  3. You will receive detailed information about how to collect the sample, and a link to a video showing each of the steps in detail.

  4. Using this kit, you will prick one finger with a sterile lancet (“needle”) and then collect 4 drops of blood onto a special paper card.

  5. After letting this card dry, you will bring your sample to your chosen drop-off location to return it back to us for analysis.

  6. We will take another sample 1 month after your second shot of vaccine or the unique shot if you are taking a one shot vaccine.

  7. If you agree to stay in the study, we will take a dried blood spot 6 months and 1 year after the second vaccine shot or the unique shot if you are taking a one shot vaccine.


This will end your participation in the study, and researchers will not need to contact you in the future, unless you agree to be contacted for further potential follow-ups.

How can Participants find out their results?

If you would like to know your results (for both your PFAS levels and antibodies), please indicate that on your survey.

Why This Study Is So Important

COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) is a new infection that has spread globally within the last several months. As it is a brand-new virus, there are many things we don’t understand about how the human immune system reacts to it. There is also a strong interest in determining how different populations respond to the covid19 vaccine in terms of building a lasting immunity to subsequent infections.

Certain environmental pollutants such as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can adversely affect the development of the immune system with some evidence on effects on vaccine-induced antibody concentration, e.g. influenza, diphtheria, and tetanus, and increased risk of infections.

It is however unclear whether higher exposure to these substances may impact antibody response to the newly developed Covid19 vaccines, a high priority public health issue. This will help us ‘fight’ the pandemic and may help design appropriate vaccination strategies for certain vulnerable populations.

Meet The Research Team

Our Community Partners