When the COVID vaccines started being rolled out, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy had ensured people who are at “significant risk” of adverse illness from the coronavirus, such as those 65 and older and those 16 and older suffering from medical conditions, eligible to get the vaccine.
Smokers were included in this list since it is assumed that the use of tobacco weakens their lungs. Teachers in particular did not entertain the idea that smokers would be getting the vaccine before them.
Nicotine may act as a protective factor against COVID-19
Amongst these was a study conducted in a large French university hospital, between March and April, which aimed to determine the possible correlation of daily smoking, with the susceptibility of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The researchers had estimated the rates of daily current smokers among COVID-19-infected patients and compared them to the rates of daily current smokers within the general French population, after controlling the data for sex and age.
The compiled data had indicated that the daily smokers’ rate amongst COVID-19 patients was at 5.3%, whilst within the general French population, the rate of daily smokers rate was of 25.4%. These findings had led the researchers to conclude that daily smokers have a significantly lower probability of developing symptomatic or a severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, when compared to the general population.
Just like other states, New Jersey has been adhering to CDC guidelines in determining who to include in the “most at risk” category. Therefore including smokers in the list is not a state decision but rather a CDC recommendation. What varies by state is when each group receives the vaccine. New Jersey started with health care workers and nursing home staff and residents, then moved on to first responders like police and firefighters, before proceeding to the “vulnerable” group which included smokers.
Read Further: Global News