is the Pfizer vaccine less effective in obese people?

According to the conclusions of an Italian study, the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 is less effective in people suffering from obesity.

Do people suffering from obesity need a specific vaccination strategy? Perhaps according to the findings of a recent study. Italian researchers claim that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine may be less effective in people with obesity.

Indeed, scientists found that in obese healthcare professionals, vaccination generated only half of the antibodies to repel the virus compared to people in good physical shape. Researchers said people who were obese might need another booster vaccine, or larger doses, to effectively protect them against the disease.

How to explain this conclusion? Scientists say that this may be because they are more likely to suffer from other conditions (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) which makes them more vulnerable. Previous research has suggested that the flu shot may be half as effective in people who are severely overweight. For now, this Italian study has not been reviewed by other scientists.

Further studies are needed

According to experts, carrying extra weight can lead to constant inflammation of the immune system, thereby impairing its function. For comparison, in healthy people, it only triggers inflammation when it fights infection.

To reach these conclusions, the researchers analyzed data from 248 participants who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Rome. The scientists analyzed their blood for antibody levels seven days after the administration of the second dose. The results showed that while those who were normal weight had a high concentration (325.8), those who were obese had half that level (167.1), on average.

On the downside, this study included only 26 obese people. And there was no significant difference in the results between those who were obese and of normal weight, meaning more tests are needed in order to confirm these results.

Quoted by MailOnline, Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, considers these results “strangely high”. Before adding: “It is probably the small number (of participants. But that an effect is observed is not surprising. It would have nothing to do with the vaccine, everything would be similar. It is the individual’s response that is compromised“.

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