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Flu vaccine more effective in the morning: study

Flu vaccine most effective in the morning: study - Featured Image

Research has shown administering the flu vaccine in the morning could be more effective for immunity than in the afternoon.

The research, published in Vaccine, was conducted on 24 general practices in the UK, and involved 276 adults over the age of 65.

The adults were vaccinated for three strains of influenza in two time slots, either 9-11am or 3-5pm.

For two of the strains, there was a significantly larger increase in antibody concentration detected a month later for the group who were vaccinated in the morning compared to those who were vaccinated in the afternoon. There was no difference in antibodies for the third strain.

Related: MJA – Influenza vaccine effectiveness in general practice and in hospital patients in Victoria, 2011–2013

According to Principal Investigator of the study from the University of Birmingham, Dr Anna Phillips, “We know that there are fluctuations in immune responses throughout the day and wanted to examine whether this would extend to the antibody response to vaccination. Being able to see that morning vaccinations yield a more efficient response will not only help in strategies for flu vaccination, but might provide clues to improve vaccination strategies more generally.”

Co-investigator Professor Janet Lordsaid, “Our results suggest that by shifting the time of those vaccinations to the morning we can improve their efficiency with no extra cost to the health service.”

A larger scale study will investigate whether vaccinating in the morning would benefit people with impaired immunity, such as those with diabetes, liver and kidney disease.

Future research will also look at whether the time of day may vary for different vaccines, as they stimulate diverse immune responses for protection.

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