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Get a Flu Shot in the Morning to Boost Immune Response

by Reshma Anand on April 26, 2016 at 12:35 PM
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Flu vaccination given for adults during the morning hours produce greater results than when administered in the afternoon, finds a new study.

Under the routine immunization programs, children and older adults are given flu jabs to increase their resistance against influenza strains. Children have a stronger immune system and therefore, produce higher amounts of antibodies to fight against diseases.


Get a Flu Shot in the Morning to Boost Immune Response
Get a Flu Shot in the Morning to Boost Immune Response

But as we age, the immune system gets much more weakened which hinders the production of antibodies in the body. A new study published in the Journal Vaccine revealed that older people can boost their immunity by having flu vaccinations in the early morning hours than in the afternoon.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham conducted a trial among 276 people aged above 65 years. They divided them into two groups, where one group was given flu jabs in the morning hours (9-11 am) while another were given in the afternoon (3-5 pm).

The participants blood samples were collected before the jab and after one month to check for antibodies against the three seasonal strains of influenza the vaccine covered.

Researchers found that antibodies against the first strain "H1N1 influenza virus" were four times higher in people who received jabs in the morning compared to the ones who received in the afternoon. It was two times greater for the second type of flu, B-strain, while for the third flu strain, H3N2, the results were similar among participants receiving shots in the morning and the afternoon.

The association between improved antibodies against the strains during the morning hours remains unknown. But they suggest that time of vaccination for elderly can be shifted to morning for improved immune response.

"We want to do more research to try and understand this circadian behavior and importantly to see if it applies to other vaccinations such as the pneumonia vaccine which also does not work well in older adults," said Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham.

Source: Medindia

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