New Study Seeks to Understand if There is a Relationship Between Body Fat and the Efficacy of Vaccines

Graduate students at the University of Florida are conducting a research study in order to evaluate the effect of obesity on the immune response to the Pneumovax 23 vaccine.

“This vaccine is a well-established vaccine given to those 65 years or older,” said Chu Hsiao, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, and coordinator of the study.

“The findings from our study could help identify whether body fat should be a consideration when administering vaccines and in doing so, may perhaps lead to changes in vaccination recommendations,” Hsiao explained. “This is a project run by MD-PhD students from UF under the supervision and guidance of well-esteemed researchers. The study is important foremost because of the public health implications. We have an obesity epidemic combined with an aging population, yet little idea of how body fat might impact the efficacy of vaccines.”