SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — UCSF scientists are trying to understand how stress, lack of sleep, even social isolation might diminish how well COVID-19 vaccines work.

While the vaccines are highly effective, not everyone responds equally well.

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The researchers suspect certain factors, such as stress, may result in weaker antibody responses.

“It’s possible that those who are getting insufficient sleep or are excessively exposed to stress without the resilience factors are going to have a real decline in their antibody response,” remarked lead researcher Dr. Elissa Epel.

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They also believe certain positive behaviors may boost your antibody response.

“We’re having people collect information about their emotions, their stress, sleep all these factors we know seem to contribute to how well we respond and how well your immune system does in developing these protective antibodies,” added insomnia expert Dr. Aric Prather.

The team is currently enrolling participants who have not yet been vaccinated, especially those 65 and older. The Trial is called BOOST, and it is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

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Additional details on the study can be found at