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Can Air Pollution Reduce Covid Vaccination Antibodies?

A study found that pre-pandemic air pollution reduced COVID-19 vaccine antibody responses.

In people without prior infection, exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon decreased IgM and IgG antibody responses by 10%. 

Environmental Health Perspectives published the study.

It supported air pollution’s immune system damage.

In 2020 and 2021927 participants aged 40–65 completed questionnaires and provided blood samples. 

All received one or two doses of Spain’s main COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna.

In 2020 and 2021, 927 participants aged 40–65 completed questionnaires and provided blood samples. 

“The collaboration of all volunteers in the cohort, with more than ten years of data, has allowed us to reliably estimate the level of environmental exposure of all participants,” said co-author Rafael de Cid.

Pre-pandemic exposure to PM2.5, NO2, and black carbon reduced vaccine-induced spike antibodies by 5–10% in uninfected individuals.

The researchers found that both early IgM and late IgG responses decreased antibodies.

Participants exposed to higher air pollution had lower IgG levels after the first dose and for several months after vaccination.

All three vaccines performed similarly.

“Air pollution can induce chronic inflammation, which has been associated with a negative effect on vaccine efficacy,” said Carlota Dobano, co-senior author with Cathryn Tonne.

“The collaboration of all volunteers in the cohort, with more than ten years of data, has allowed us to reliably estimate the level of environmental exposure of all participants,” said co-author Rafael de Cid.

Pre-pandemic exposure to PM2.5, NO2, and black carbon reduced vaccine-induced spike antibodies by 5–10% in uninfected individuals.

The researchers found that both early IgM and late IgG responses decreased antibodies.

Participants exposed to higher air pollution had lower IgG levels after the first dose and for several months after vaccination. All three vaccines performed similarly.

“Air pollution can induce chronic inflammation, which has been associated with a negative effect on vaccine efficacy,” said Carlota Dobano, co-senior author with Cathryn Tonne.