Overweight and obese individuals now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana

Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:15 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Individuals age 16 and older who are overweight or obese are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana.

That includes people who have a Body Mass Index or BMI, 25 and higher. BMI is calculated based on your height and weight.

LSU Health Infectious Diseases expert, Fred Lopez, M.D., says obesity triples the risk of hospitalization for those infected with Covid.

Vaccine eligibility
Vaccine eligibility(LDH)

More: Louisiana expands vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older with certain health conditions

“In general, we know that obesity has an impact on immune function. In fact, it impairs the immune function of an individual. We also know the more obese someone is, the decrease in the lung capacity, making ventilation more difficult and so when you are talking about an infection that affects primarily the lungs, you can see why obesity and/or being overweight could increase the risk for more severe disease including hospitalization and death,” said Lopez. ”When you look at the data, about 43% of adults in the United States are considered to be obese and more than 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese, in fact, it’s almost three quarters, so, we are talking about a lot of people who are going to be included in this next group of vaccinated individuals.”

WATCH: Gov. Edwards discusses state’s COVID-19 vaccination progress on one-year anniversary of virus reported in La.

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