As we suspected, it is confirmed by the figures. Less than one in two adults suffering from obesity – 48.4% to be precise – has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of May 23, according to Health Insurance data released on Friday. The organization has, for the first time, revealed vaccination coverage rates according to comorbidities. While 60 or even 70% of patients suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart failure or Down’s syndrome have received a first injection, those obese are much less protected, even if they are more than the general population ( 34.3% of first-time vaccines).
Obesity is, however, one of the main risk factors. Half of Covid patients in intensive care have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, according to data from Public Health France on a sample of hospitals.
Please note: Health Insurance data is not linked to BMI, because patients are not recorded as such in a database. To build its algorithm, the organization took into account the social insureds who were hospitalized. “It is to be feared that the category of obese patients, much larger (BMI> 30), is even less well vaccinated with a probable correlation with the standard of living”, indicates the Social Security.
“For me, it was a real mistake”
The main explanation for this finding is that not all obese people have been vaccinated for a long time. It was not until Saturday May 1 that 18-55 year olds could make an appointment (unless they belonged to an already priority category, such as caregivers or people suffering from a disease at very high risk of form serious). Patients with trisomy 21, severe chronic kidney disease or two organ failure, they could already be bitten since January 18 without age criteria.
“For a long time, we had to reject many obese patients under the age of 50. They were not clearly prioritized from the start, and for me it was a real mistake, ”says Hélène Rossinot, public health doctor in Nancy.
However, this may not be the only reason. “Even if it is often purely psychological, some people have also told me that they were afraid of catching the Covid by going to a hospital or even to a center to be vaccinated. It may also have been a brake, ”adds Anne-Sophie Joly, president of the National Collective of Obese Associations (CNAO).
Be that as it may, these data will make it possible to better direct the initiatives put in place to “seek out” people who have not yet been vaccinated, especially if they are the most at risk.