The weight of obesity on the human immune response to vaccination

Vaccine. 2015 Aug 26;33(36):4422-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.06.101. Epub 2015 Jul 8.


Despite the high success of protection against several infectious diseases through effective vaccines, some sub-populations have been observed to respond poorly to vaccines, putting them at increased risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. In particular, the limited data concerning the effect of obesity on vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy suggests that obesity is a factor that increases the likelihood of a poor vaccine-induced immune response. Obesity occurs through the deposition of excess lipids into adipose tissue through the production of adipocytes, and is defined as a body-mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m(2). The immune system is adversely affected by obesity, and these "immune consequences" raise concern for the lack of vaccine-induced immunity in the obese patient requiring discussion of how this sub-population might be better protected.

Keywords: Communicable diseases; Immunity; Immunization; Obesity; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Obesity*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines