A new study suggests that the COVID vaccine, which has been developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, might not be very effective in people who are dealing with obesity. A study, which has been done by Italian scientists, has revealed that the second dose of the vaccine has been able to produce only about half the amount of antibodies in health care workers who have been dealing with obesity as compared to people with a healthy body mass index (BMI). Experts have said that it will be too soon to identify what it means in terms of the efficiency of the vaccine. However, the findings of the study show that people who are dealing with obesity or people who are having BMI above 30 might need extra doses to make sure that they are amply protected against the COVID19. Past studies have shown a potential risk of COVID19 infection linked to obesity. These studies have revealed that the risk of death linked to obesity and COVID19 shoots by 50 percent, and the risk of hospitalization goes up by 118 percent. Experts have said that some of the underlying health conditions such as heart issues and type 2 diabetes that are found in obese people might be responsible for increased risk of coronavirus. The new study has found that metabolic changes such as inflammation and insulin resistance caused by excess body fat reduce the ability of the body to fight off the infection.
In the new study, experts have assessed antibody responses in 248 health care workers for seven days after the two-dose shot with Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine. The lead author of the study, Aldo Venuti has said that around 99.5 percent of people have been able to produce an antibody response, which has been greater than the response tracked in people who have recovered from COVID19. However, the response has been quite dull among people who have been overweight or dealing with obesity. The authors of the report have said that since obesity is a major risk factor for patients who are diagnosed with COVID19 infection, it is crucial to plan a viable vaccination program for people who are overweight or obese. Other experts have said the findings of the study might have serious implications in the planning of vaccination policies for obese people. However, there is a need for further studies.
Dr. Danny Altmann, who is a professor of immunology at the Imperial College London, has said that BMI is a huge predictor of a poor immune response to vaccines. Therefore, the findings of the new study are quite interesting; however, the study has been based on a small preliminary database. He has said that it proved that having a vaccinated population does not mean having an immune population. Some experts have said that certain immune responses, which are produced by B or T cells that prompt an immune retort after vaccination, can be abated by a regular state of low-grade inflammation. The same type of limited protection produce by vaccines has been observed in a separate study as well. In this study, the flu vaccine has been proved to be only half-effective in people who have been dealing with obesity or weight issues. The new study shows the first direct evidence that suggests the same issue might take place with the COVID19 vaccine. The findings of this study have not been peer-reviewed yet.