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January 12, 2021

Obese adults in 'at-risk' priority group for COVID vaccine

According to the latest official government guidance and announcements, the priority for giving the vaccine will be to obese adults before healthy individuals aged over 60.

Many studies conducted by researchers revealed that Extreme obesity is the most dangerous factor in relation to COVID-19 between all factors. studies lead to serious conclusions regarding the relation between seriously overweight individuals who diagnosed Positive with COVID-19 and the high number of complications and fatalities.

According to a list published by the public health of England revealed that temporal vaccine  order priority will be divided into nine groups.

Individuals with a BMI (Body Mass Index) over than 40 and between 16-65 years old are in priority group six, which it means this group of people has the priority to receive COVID vaccine even before the group of Healthy people and over 60 years old. the 6th group of priority also includes individuals in the age between 16 and 65 and suffer from other medical conditions considered to put them more “at risk” of COVID-19. these conditions are chronic heart disease, diabetes and acute mental problems.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Why are obese people more at risk from COVID-19?

A recent study conducted by experts led to conclude that obesity is a high risk factor for those suffering from severe illness with Coronavirus.

A collective data from more that 1600 patients across 166 hospitals located in all over UK revealed that obese male adults’ individuals are at high risk level of dying when infected with COVID-19. A Study paper published by Public Health of England in July said individuals with BMI rate between 35 and 40 might increase the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 40%, where BMI rate over 40 might increase the risk percent to 90%  

Dr. Stephen O’Rahilly a professor At the University of Cambridge explained that human body's extra fat generally accumulates in the liver and skeletal muscle leading to distributions in metabolism system and causes high insulin levels that leads to increase the production levels of immune-fighting proteins and reduce adiponectin which normally protects the lungs. This can have a negative impact on immune system and can mean an obese individuals’ immune response to COVID-19 could be less effective. It also might reduce lung functions and lead to ineffective response to draw in oxygen.

As a general fact, 29% of United Kingdom adults were classified and diagnosed as obese and extremely over weight in 2019.

Watch: UK health minister orders 5 million doses of new Moderna vaccine.

A GP and online doctor for PrescriptionDoctor.com, Dr. Giuseppe Aragona says that the priority of vaccination will be given to adults with a BMI rate over 40 due to being ''this individuals'' in a high-risk of dying when contracting COVID-19 more that healthy individuals. he also explained healthy BMI is between 18 and 24 range therefore the priority should be to those who have BMI rate with more than 40 as they are at a greater risk.

Additionally, those who have diabetes are also placed in the high risk levels when it comes to being infected with COVID-19 especially Type 2 diabetes which is most common in those who are suffering overweight so this should also be considered too.

What is Body mass index (BMI)?

According to the National Health Service, BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to calculate if your weight is healthy. The key factors which make up BMI are height, weight and age. scientifically an ideal BMI range for most adults considered between 18.5 and 24.9.

BMI rate is divided to four groups as the following:

* First group are individuals with BMI rate below 18.5 considered as underweight group.

* Second group are individuals with a BMI rate between 18.5 and 24.9 considered in the healthy weight range.

* Third group are individuals with BMI between 25 and 29.9 and considered as Overweight.

* Fourth group are individuals with BMI between 30 and 39.9 and considered as obese range. 

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How BMI ratio can be calculated?

National Health Service (NHS) has a scienctific BMI calculator that determine which category of the previous 4 categories you are in (underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese ). Nevertheless BMI can be calculated manually by dividing weight (kg) by height (m2). For example, A BMI of 22 means 22kg/m2.

What are Factors that have an impact on BMI?

By Taking into account the natural differences in body shape, body mass index gives a healthy weight range for a given height. Nevertheless, when assessing if you’re a healthy weight group, Healthcare workers may take other factors into account when calculating your BMI ratio too. for example, very muscular people such as athletes, heavyweight boxers and body builders may be in a healthy weight, even though their BMI could be be classed as obese, and that's due to muscles are much denser than fat. Ethnic groups are considered as a factor that has an impact on BMI ratio calculation, for example, Asian origin adults may be at a higher risk of health problems at BMI levels below 25.

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