Having a BMI higher than 25 may qualify you for the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out where your BMI stands

overweight bmi
Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 20:28:00-05

One of the conditions that will allow over 2 million Wisconsin residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine is being overweight or obese, the state Department of Health Services announced Thursday.

One way to tell if you are overweight or obese is if your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is between 25-29 for overweight, or between 30-39 for obese.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a tool that allows you to find out your BMI using your height and weight:

BMI For Adults Widget

The CDC and other health organizations have ruled that obesity puts people at far greater risk of severe illness caused by the coronavirus.

The CDC also found that:

  • Having obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection.
  • Obesity is linked to impaired immune function
  • Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult
  • As BMI increases, the risk of death from COVID-19 increases
  • Studies have demonstrated that obesity may be linked to lower vaccine responses for numerous diseases (influenza, Hepatitis B, tetanus).

The other medical conditions for those eligible are as follows:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Liver disease
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30-39 kg/m2)
  • Overweight (BMI of 25-29 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or more)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)

You can read the full news release from Wisconsin DHS here.

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Coronavirus in Wisconsin

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More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

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