Study: Flu vaccine works better in the morning

  • 27/04/2016
Study: Flu vaccine works better in the morning

Research has suggested that flu vaccines are more effective if they are administered in the morning.

The report out of the UK, published in the medical journal Vaccine, compared the response flu vaccinations had on older people when administered in the morning verses the afternoon.

They found that in the 267 people they tested, those vaccinated in the morning had more influenza-fighting antibodies when they were tested one month later.

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, Academic Head of Immunisation Research and Vaccinology at Immunisation Advisory Centre in New Zealand, said it's not entirely new information but the confirmation is still exciting.

"We have known for many years that the immune response can be altered, either positively or negatively, by a variety of stressors such as examinations, running marathons and also not getting enough sleep or sleeping at odd times," Dr Petousis-Harris said.

However Dr Rachel Edgar, from the University of Cambridge's Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, said caution must be exercised when thinking of applying these findings to disease immunisation as the results may not be the same.

"Further investigation is required to determine if morning vaccination strategies reduce the incidence of disease," Dr Edgar said.

And monitoring of the results will continue. Professor Jonathan Ball from the University of Nottingham said this increase in antibodies may not necessarily mean an increase in immunity.

"But we have to remember differences in antibody yield that are statistically significant might not be biologically significant, and that's the key issue," Prof Ball said.

For those looking to increase their chances of preventing illness this winter, these findings may just be a ticket to good health.