Why regular physical activity increases the effectiveness of the vaccine against COVID-19

Effectiveness of COVID vaccine in humans with doses and boosters increased by exercise (Gettyimages)
Effectiveness of COVID vaccine in humans with doses and boosters increased by exercise (Gettyimages)

It is true that the coronavirus is on the decline today in several countries of the world (140,000 infections were recorded in the world yesterday), although in Argentina last week the number of infections rose for the first time in 10 weeks.

Similarly, epidemiological experts suggest that we could be on the door to another wave of COVID, cause of new sub-variants of Ómicron such as BA.2.75 or BQ.1 that registry mass infections in some Asian countries.

Experts never tire of repeating that it is Covid-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from this disease in order to avoid its serious phase. And for this reason, they insist that in addition to the basic initial schedule of two doses, the third and fourth doses are necessary for maintenance. high immune barriers.

New research shows that physical activity can break the cycle of inflammation caused by COVID that can result in the development of diabetes and depression (Getty)
New research shows that physical activity can break the cycle of inflammation caused by COVID that can result in the development of diabetes and depression (Getty)

Now the new one scientific study Published in the magazine The ‘British Journal of Sports Medicine’ finds out this week the importance of regular physical exercise to make the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 more effective and they do not suffer from the coronavirus in a serious form. A team of scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg provides convincing evidence that regular physical activity helps prevent the consequences of severe infection of COVID-19which reduces the risk of hospital admission, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and even death.

Previously a the radio led by Sebastien Chastin from Glasgow Caledonian University, they found that physical activity reduces up to 37% risk of death from infectious diseasesincluding COVID, and a 31% reduction in the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with an increase of up to 40% in vaccine effectiveness.

To see if sports really improve the body’s immune capabilities, the authors of a new scientific study conducted at a South African university looked at anonymized medical records and data from activity meters of health care workers, as well as among participants in the Health program. progression and behavior change.

If a person does at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, it has proven health benefits (Gettyimages)
If a person does at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, it has proven health benefits (Gettyimages)

The participants were assigned to different categories of physical activity average in the two years before the start of studies: low, less than 60 minutes per week (low); medium, at least 60-149 minutes (medium); and high, 150 minutes or more. Scientists analyzed the results COVID-19 swab test out of 53,771 participants with a low level of physical activity, 62,721 with a medium level and 79,952 with a high level.

They also obtained comprehensive health, COVID vaccination data (from mid-February to the end of October 2021), and physical activity data for 196,444 adults who tested negative for the coronavirus.

Effectiveness of the covid vaccine among people with full vaccine in the category of low physical activity it was 60%. That is, risk of hospital admission was reduced by 60% in this group. This risk was further reduced in the group of medium (72%) and high (86%) physical activity. In other words: those who had completed the vaccination schedule and played sports more than 150 minutes per week were three times less likely to be hospitalized in the case of covid from those also vaccinated but in the category of low physical activity. In turn, those in the moderate physical activity group were 1.5 times less likely to be hospitalized due to covid than those in the less active group.

Patients had a 36% lower risk of hospitalization, a 44% lower risk of serious illness caused by COVID-19, and a 43% lower risk of death from COVID-19 than their physically inactive peers (Photo: Pixabay)
Patients had a 36% lower risk of hospitalization, a 44% lower risk of serious illness caused by COVID-19, and a 43% lower risk of death from COVID-19 than their physically inactive peers (Photo: Pixabay)

The authors say that “the findings suggest a possible dose response where higher levels of physical activity are associated with greater vaccine efficacy,” adding that “this confirms WHO recommendations for regular physical activitythat is, that 150 to 300 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity per week has significant health benefits in the prevention of serious diseases in the current context of transmissible viral infections”.

New Research showed that physical activity can break the vicious cycle of inflammation caused by COVID which can result in the development of diabetes and depression months after the person recovers from the initial virus.

“Exercise can help, physical activity addresses the inflammation that leads to high blood glucose and the development and progression of diabetes and clinical depression,” he explained. Candida Rebelloresearcher at the Pennington Center for Biomedical Research.

Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of infection and severity of COVID-19 disease, including hospitalization and death (Getty Images)
Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of infection and severity of COVID-19 disease, including hospitalization and death (Getty Images)

Despite the findings, scientists are cautious, saying it is possible the results cannot be generalized to other virus variants or to other types of vaccines. And they add that it’s not clear exactly how physical activity improves vaccination, “but it could be combination improved antibody levelsimproved immune surveillance of T cells and psychosocial factors,” they suggest.

Mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, play a particularly important role in immunity, they add. Physical activity helps to maintain the quality of mitochondriafacilitating the repair or removal of damaged mitochondria and stimulating the growth of new ones, they point out.

And they concluded: “Public health messages should encourage physical activity as a simple and cost-effective way to improve vaccine effectiveness to reduce the risk of serious illness from covid requiring hospitalization.”

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