July 21, 2021 – The Obesity Society – America’s leading organization of experts dedicated to understanding and treating obesity – urges all obese people to get one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible if they haven’t already.
“We are seeing a more virulent strain [Delta]but also reluctance to vaccinate and stopping common masking practices, ”Scott Butsch, MD, told WebMD. “Unfortunately, we are seeing low vaccination rates in states with the highest prevalence of obesity.”
“This virus is still replicating and will continue to easily strike unvaccinated populations,” he warns.
“Almost all current deaths in the United States linked to COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people (something in the order of 99.5%). Therefore, whether or not an individual is obese, it should be done. vaccinate, “says Butsch, who is director of obesity medicine at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and co-author of the position statement released by the Obesity Society
“We want to end this pandemic. Let’s do it by getting vaccinated. As new, more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge, including the Delta variant, vaccination efforts are even more urgent to help limit the spread of the disease. Said Catherine Kotz, PhD, president of the Obesity Society and another co-author of the statement.
“In a world where lifestyle recommendations and fad diets circulate without strong evidence to back it up, we wanted our patients to have a reliable source of truth about the effectiveness of these vaccines,” the release said. Obesity Society.
Obese patients ask their providers about vaccines
“We know that obese patients are already hesitant to see a doctor or avoid them altogether because of the weight-related stigma that exists in the medical community,” says Butsch.
The position statement has been released now, in part because members of the Obesity Society were asked about COVID-19 vaccines by obese patients, he says.
“What do I tell patients? I tell them I care about their health. That’s why they’re here in my clinic in the first place, ”he says.
Obese people who contract COVID-19 are more likely to have serious illness, need to be admitted to the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator, and die from the illness. And if they recover, they’re more likely to have lasting symptoms, experts said.
“Not only is obesity associated with over 200 other medical problems and complications [including diabetes and heart disease], but it is also the most important risk factor outside of age that carries an increased risk of death “from COVID-19, said Butsch.” I have seen several of my patients die this year from it of this virus, and I’m not interested in killing another person. “
Analyzes from clinical trials of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – have all shown that “these vaccines work in individuals with and without obesity,” says Kotz, professor at the University of Minnesota.
The main recommendations of the Obesity Society statement, which supports the CDC’s advice, are as follows:
- The Obesity Society strongly recommends that obese people get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- There is clear evidence that the efficacy of approved vaccines is similar in patients with and without obesity.
- The three COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA are also effective.
“The risk of not being vaccinated and potentially contracting this disease is great in people who are obese, and ANY vaccine will significantly reduce that risk,” said Butsch, adding that he often told his patients to “do it for you. service, your family and your community, and get vaccinated. “