Response to COVID vaccination in obese people

Study code

Lead researcher
Prof Sadaf Farooqi, Dr James Thaventhiran

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
Cambridge University Hospitals/ King's College Hospitals

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, COVID


Obesity is a major risk factor for severe COVID-19 with a 40% higher risk of death in people with a BMI over 35 kg/m2 and a 90% higher risk of death in people with severe obesity, a BMI >40% kg/m2.  Currently it is unclear if this at risk group responds to COVID-19 vaccination effectively or whether they experience a blunting of vaccine efficacy.  

In this study, we want to investigate whether weight and subsequent weight loss is a modulator of the immune response to SARS-COV2 vaccine in people with severe obesity. We will address this question by studying: 

200 people with severe obesity before and after treatment with a low calorie diet as part of the Intensive Weight Management Programme run by the Obesity Clinic in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.  

150 people with severe obesity before and after bariatric surgery at Kings College Hospital, London (lead Francesco Rubino) 

100 people with severe obesity receiving standard dietary advice through the Diabetes/ Obesity Clinics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge 

We will measure several components of the immune response to SARS-COV2 vaccination, as well as the response to a potential booster vaccine should this be delivered through the NHS, as well as metabolic parameters.