A new study in Japan , which has not yet been reviewed by other experts, has analyzed blood samples from 378 healthcare workers between the ages of 32 and 54 who had received Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine three months earlier.
According to their findings, provisionally published in the medical database ‘ medRxiv ‘, the researchers initially discovered that antibody levels were lower in older individuals, which has been found in previous studies. But after adjusting for age, the team found that the only risk factors leading to lower antibodies were being male and having a habit of smoking .
The study authors speculate that the difference in lower antibodies between the biological sexes could be related to the fact that the smoking rate was twice as high among men as it was among women. They also found that ex-smokers did not see a similar reduction in antibodies, concluding that “quitting smoking before vaccination can improve the individual effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine.”
The study authors note, however, that preliminary data is not strong enough to establish a strong relationship between smoking and vaccination. Thus, they believe that further research on the subject would be necessary before solid conclusions can be drawn about the connection.
It is not the first study
But this study is not the first to find a possible correlation between smoking and the appearance of lower antibodies after vaccination. Another observational study published in April in the journal ‘ Diabetes / Metabolism Research and Reviews ‘ looked at 86 healthcare workers from a Rome hospital who had received the Pfizer vaccine.
Blood samples were taken from each participant prior to their first dose and again between one and four weeks after the administration of their second dose to check for antibody responses.
The study found that participants with habitual smoking habits had fewer antibodies in their systems than non-smokers, surprising the research team.