Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for coronavirus which is why some scientists are concerned over the novel coronavirus vaccine’s efficacy for obese people. Even if this vaccine is available for the public, it may not protect millions of obese people.
There are so many studies that suggest the inefficiency of influenza vaccine and vaccine for hepatitis B in obese adults. In fact, vaccination could make them contract the virus even more as compared to people with a healthy weight.
In a similar way, the researchers are fearful that the novel coronavirus vaccine may also fail for a huge number of people and put them at death risk. The pandemic has infected more than 5 million people in the US and killed at least 158,000 people. And the risk for nearly half the population which is over a healthy weight still persists.
Dr. Chad Petit, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham says that it doesn’t mean that the vaccine would not work; the scientists are only assuming, it may not be highly efficient for all people.
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records 42.4% obese including 18.5% of children. Not just the COVID-19, obesity is a big risk factor for various diseases i.e. type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.
This number of obese citizens will also grow like other groups which mean the world should expect severely obese generations to come next. Obesity impairs the physical and cognitive abilities of people and results in a weak immune system. With such low immunity, anything, coronavirus or any other disease can take their life.
In a normal, healthy person, the immune system activates itself in case of a pathogenic attack. So when immunity is compromised, the body will not show any struggle of fighting back in case of an invasion.
The obese people have reported a low immune response even after getting a vaccine. A couple of years ago, a study revealed that antibody response against the Hep-B virus was extremely low in overweight and obese people as compared to healthy people.
Another study reveals that flu vaccination in obese people was least likely to help them against the disease. While there is no clinical evidence to know it, the scientists are presuming that COVID-10’s vaccine may also experience a similar response.
A similar hypothesis says that inflammation caused obesity is responsible for the poor immune response i.e. macrophage production and release in case of a pathogenic attack.
In any case, those who are over the normal BMI level should pay attention to their weight and try to lower it with the help of healthy food and exercise. This coronavirus pandemic is the ideal time for a person to work on his health and drop weight, as people are advised to spend time at home, avoiding people. The trials on obese patients can be started once the novel coronavirus vaccine is here and reported inefficient for overweight people.