Obesity Leads to Less Effective Flu Shots

For those who are contemplating weight loss surgery in Naples, here is another complication related to obesity that provides even more incentive to lose weight. Studies have shown than the flu vaccine is actually less effective for people who are obese.

Doctors have already known that people with excess weight have lower antibody levels and are more prone to illness. Tests have shown that the antibodies triggered by vaccines decrease more quickly among people who are overweight than with people who have normal weight levels. The average person’s vaccination effectiveness lasts about 6 months. Obese people’s vaccination effectiveness is only good for about 1 to 2 months.

Even worse news is that studies also show that influenza infection can act more quickly among people that are overweight, and that patients who get infected and are obese are more likely to get sicker and to recover more slowly.

The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccination every year as new vaccines are released. These new vaccines help us to keep up with each year’s newly adapted flu viruses. Many doctors now recommend that people who are obese actually get two flu vaccinations – one in the fall, and a second one later in the winter – to increase their ability to fight off infection.

It is recommended that everyone get a flu vaccination, but it is especially important for those that are very young, are elderly, or who have chronic health conditions that can be exasperated by influenza. These include people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV-AIDS, and obesity.