IT NOT ONLY MAKES YOU MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE VIRUS, IT COULD MAKE YOUR VACCINE LESS EFFECTIVE.
With COVID vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer showing promise in clinical trials, it finally seems as though the end of the pandemic may soon be in sight. However, even a highly effective COVID vaccine may not confer the same degree of immunity to everyone. A new study reveals that if you’re someone who enjoys vaping, you may not have as much protection against COVID as you’d hoped. Read on to discover what the findings mean for smokers, and for more on the vaccine, check out This Is What Getting a COVID Vaccine Feels Like, Volunteers Say.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology reveals that vaping can alter the immune function in e-cigarette smokers, potentially making them more likely to become infected with coronavirus.
Meghan Rebuli, PhD, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the UNC Department of Pediatrics, explained in a statement that the study’s findings “[suggest] that e-cigarette users are likely more susceptible to respiratory viruses than are non-smokers, and this likely includes SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”
In terms of the efficacy of a COVID vaccine among smokers, there’s bad news, too. Levels of anti-LAIV IgA in nasal secretions—a possible indicator of immunity to a virus following infection—increased among non-smokers studied following an illness. However, the same wasn’t true of those who used e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes. “This is not good,” explained study co-author Ilona Jaspers, PhD. “We want to see IgA levels increase during infection. It’s the body’s natural way to defend against an invader.”
Rebuli added that, while there isn’t yet conclusive data regarding how a COVID vaccine would affect e-cigarette users, the reduced immune response and IgA levels among that population could mean trouble for vapers post-vaccine.
“We know we never want to see suppression of genes, proteins, and antibodies involved in our immune response. And this is what we see in our data related to smoking and e-cigarette use,” explained Rebuli. Vaping isn’t the only habit that may affect your COVID risk or immunity, however—read on to discover which other habits could make you more susceptible to coronavirus. And for more news on the COVID vaccine, Dr. Fauci Says This Many People Need to Get Vaccinated to Stop COVID.
Published: November 19, 2020