COVID-19 vaccine won't be as effective for obese people, experts predict

Health experts predict that a COVID-19 vaccine will be less effective in obese Americans, which could leave more than 100 million people still vulnerable to the virus, reports Kaiser Health News.

The scientific community widely accepts that vaccines against such diseases as flu, tetanus and hepatitis B can be less effective in obese adults, making these individuals more vulnerable to illness. Obesity researchers predict similar effects will occur with a COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way," Raz Shaikh, PhD, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, told KHN. "Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no."

Decreased vaccine efficacy could complicate a return to work and normal life for more than 107 million obese adults in the U.S. This prediction is also concerning, as obesity is linked to a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection, KHN noted.

Despite these concerns, health experts said it is still safer for obese people to get vaccinated, even if they have a diminished immune response.

To read the full article, click here.

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