Immunologists and public health authorities are going to have to re-think the idea of mass flu vaccination in a growing population of obese Americans. A striking study shows flu vaccination did increase antibody titers (concentration) among healthy and obese individuals, but that failed to protect obese individuals from the flu. In fact, obese vaccinated individuals were twice as likely to get the flu compared to healthy vaccinated individuals. Given over 100 million Americans elect to get a flu shot annually and a third of the adult population is obese, vaccination programs appear to be counterproductive. [Daily Mail June 7, 2017]
Immunologists identified an impaired T-cell response as the cause of the problem. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.