High BMI people can now get their COVID-19 vaccine in California

With vaccination efforts beginning in many countries, it is important to prioritize who will get the vaccine first. Health workers and frontliners are given the first doses, followed by those at greatest risk of dying from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) .

Now the state of California allows people with one in ten comorbidities to receive their COVID-19 bumps. This comes after obesity was classified as a COVID-19 vaccine.

Photo credit: Arda Savasciogullari / Shutterstock

Body Mass Index and Obesity

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that obesity is an underlying health condition defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater but less than 40.

For adults with a normal range, the BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9, while overweight people have a BMI of 25 to 29.9. People with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese, while people with a BMI of 40 and above are extremely or severely obese.

Meanwhile, San Francisco City has expanded its definition of qualification requirements so that those who are obese by CDC standards can be vaccinated against COVID-19. Therefore, the new policy states that all Californians with a BMI of 40 and above can be vaccinated, while San Francisco residents with a BMI of 30 and above are eligible for the shot.

Vaccination Eligibility

Currently, the San Francisco Department of Health determines that individuals eligible for the vaccine include healthcare workers, those 65 years of age and older, rescue workers, and education and childcare workers. Other eligible persons include food and farm workers, people with certain health conditions or disabilities, the homeless, and people who live or work in shared apartments such as homeless shelters and correctional facilities.

Health conditions include active cancer, chronic kidney disease, Down syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, heart conditions such as heart failure, cardiomyopathies and coronary artery disease, and obesity with a BMI greater than 30, diabetes and immunosuppression due to bone marrow disease. or organ transplants, use of corticosteroids, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), and use of drugs to weaken the immune system.

The Ministry of Health emphasizes that vaccines are currently only available in limited quantities. Residents may have to wait to get a vaccine even if they are eligible. It is also reported that the general public may not have access to the vaccine until later in 2021, when more vaccines become available.

The vaccine takes two shots to provide full protection, which can be a few weeks apart. The state offers online registration for vaccination. Those whose schedules are not available can register to be notified when they are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination against COVID-19

One way to contain the ongoing pandemic that has caused over 120 million infections worldwide is through vaccination.

Globally, about 2.66 million people have died and more than 68.18 million have recovered.

The United States has the highest number of cases with 29.54 million cases and over 536,000 deaths. Brazil and India follow with 11.6 million and 11.4 million cases, respectively.

Other countries with growing numbers of cases include Russia with 4.36 million cases, the United Kingdom with 4.28 million cases, France with 4.16 million cases and Italy with 3.25 million cases.

COVID-19 vaccines teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2 and prevent infections. It takes a few weeks for the body to be fully protected from the virus after the shot. This means that the person can still get COVID-19 within this period.

In terms of safety, after reviewing the results of human studies, the vaccines are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the US, the approved vaccines are up to 95 percent effective against COVID-19.

To date, 109 million doses have been administered in the United States. 38.3 million or 11.68% of the population are fully vaccinated. Most people reported only mild side effects after vaccination.

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