Obesity may affect coronavirus vaccine, new study suggests

A new study published in Obesity Reviews suggests a vaccine against novel coronavirus may not work as well in people who are obese.

We already know obesity increases the risk someone infected with COVID-19 will suffer complications. They have a greater risk of ending in the intensive care unit, on a ventilator and of dying.

I spoke with weight loss expert Dr. Charlie Seltzer, who says we also know an obese person's immune system doesn't work as well as someone who is healthy weight, which could affect how well a vaccine works.

"The key of a vaccine is the body's immune system has to be able to remember what it was exposed to so that when it is exposed to it again, it can mount a proper response. It appears obese peoples immune systems don't remember as well as non-obese person's immune system," Dr. Seltzer said.

The researchers say the vaccine would still offer some protection but this risk factor should be looked at as vaccines are tested.

Dr. Seltzer says even if you have no other risk factors, if you are significantly overweight you are likely at a greater risk for complications and need to take precautions to protect yourself.

He also says now is a good time to use this as a motivation to make a plan to lose weight and improve your health in the future.
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