Pfizer vaccine may be less effective for obese people

Many thanks to my friend in Scotland who sent me this story. Co-incidently, I went on a diet in January after tipping the scales at 14 stone, making me slightly overweight rather than obese. I have now lost over a stone and am now at the upper end of the healthy weight BMI scale……just as well as I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine nearly a month ago.

It seems that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be less effective for obese people. Italian researchers have discovered that healthcare workers with obesity produced only about half the amount of antibodies in response to a second dose of the jab compared with healthy people. Although it is too soon to know what this means for the efficacy of the vaccine, it might imply that people with obesity need an additional booster dose to ensure they are adequately protected against coronavirus.

Pfizer BioNTech vaccine

Previous research has suggested that obesity – which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 30 – increases the risk of dying of Covid-19 by nearly 50%, as well as increasing the risk of ending up in hospital by 113%. Some of this may be because people with obesity often have other underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes, that increase their risk from the coronavirus, but excess body fat can also cause metabolic changes, such as insulin resistance and inflammation, which make it harder for the body to fight off infections.

This constant state of low-grade inflammation can also weaken certain immune responses, including those launched by the B and T cells that trigger a protective response following vaccination. Separate research has shown that the flu vaccine is only half as effective in people with obesity compared to those who are a healthy weight. The new study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, provides the first direct evidence to suggest a similar problem might occur with Covid-19 vaccines. Further studies are needed, and this data may have important implications to the development of vaccination strategies for Covid-19, particularly in obese people. click full article

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