Should Obese People Get a Priority for Covid Vaccination?

Should Obese People Get a Priority for Covid Vaccination - Seniors Today

It has rightly been decided that people with comorbidities are more prone to the infection, as such, should be vaccinated first. One such condition is – OBESITY.

Covid-19, an infectious viral disease, has rapidly turned into a pandemic, affecting roughly 122 million people worldwide. Its symptoms are varied, depending on the strain you have been infected with. In an immunocompromised individual, it can have catastrophic effects, resulting in hospitalization, organ failure, even death.

The healthcare fraternity has  been fighting this virus on all fronts, and a lot of research has been carried out to find effective medicines which will help fight Covid. With the vaccination made available, there is a good chance that the morbidity and mortality rates can be mitigated.

It has rightly been decided that people with comorbidities are more prone to the infection, as such, should be vaccinated first. One such condition is – OBESITY.

Obesity is recognized as a chronic and serious disease in its own right…it makes people vulnerable to a large number of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Obese people are known to have complications like diabetes, renal problems, and cardiac diseases, to name a few.

Research now shows that obesity could put you at risk to contract Covid-19, as well as suffer from its complications.

Studies by the WORLD OBESITY FEDERATION  have shown that countries where a large percentage of population is overweight or obese have a higher number of cases. Countries with less percentage of obese people show less morbidity and mortality rate.

How does obesity affect Covid?

Obesity is linked to impaired immune function.

It disturbs the lung function, making breathing difficult.

It increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People who are overweight may also be at increased risk.

It may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection.

As BMI increases, the risk of death from COVID-19 increases.

Death rates from Covid are observed to be 10 times higher in countries where more than half the infected adults had a BMI of 25kg/m2 or more…


What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is the body mass divided by the square of the body height. It is a reliable calculator of an individual’s body fat.

BMI Categories:

Underweight = <18.5

Normal weight = 18.5–24.9

Overweight = 25–29.9

Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater.

Though it measures your obesity, it doesn’t really differentiate between bone mass, fat or muscle mass. It is reliable, though, and used by many to categorize the level of fat one has. It is also used to identify overweight and obese people, and give them a priority for the Covid vaccine.

The report has shown that being overweight can put you in the group that is likely to suffer severe complications due to Covid, including hospitalization and ventilation. Obesity is also known to increase the severity of any co morbid disease you might already have.

Stressing on the fact that obesity is a danger worldwide, it becomes imperative that the world at large takes obesity more seriously.

Highlighting data from WHO and reputed medical institutions, it showed that about 2.2 million of the pandemic’s 2.5 million global deaths have been observed in countries battling obesity on a large scale…no country with a population of BMI less than 25 have been so badly affected.

Acknowledging the relation between obesity and Covid as “clear and compelling”, WHO has urged countries to actively address and take steps to reduce obesity.

Researchers found people with a BMI above 30 had a 74 per cent higher risk for ICU admission and a 48 per cent higher risk of death, according to a study published in August 2020 in Obesity Reviews.


Why Vaccinate?

Vaccines create antibodies in your system, which helps to fight the Covid virus and reduces the risk of contracting the virus. Thus, resulting in reduction of complications one may suffer as a result of Covid infection.

While the Vaccine will protect in case of exposures, nevertheless, it is still advisable to follow Covid norms, such as using masks and social distancing.

The fight on the pandemic shall be fought at various fronts and levels and in doing so; prioritizing obese population for vaccination would be a decision in the right direction.

About Dr Nandini Saini

B.H.M.S,  D.B.Sc , Diploma in Aesthetics. (GCTA, Australia) Practicing homoeopath and aesthetician with an experience of over 15 years

View all posts by Dr Nandini Saini

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