Get Your Flu Shot When You're in a Good Mood
Your mood on the day you receive your flu vaccine could affect the protection it provides, suggest researchers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Being in a good mood when you get your flu shot may boost its effectiveness – especially in older adults.
For the British study, researchers looked at a number of psychological and behavioral factors shown to affect how well vaccinations work to determine which factor or combination of factors had the greatest effect on vaccines’ ability to protect against disease. They measured negative mood, positive mood, physical activity level, diet, and sleep three times a week for six weeks before the 138 older adults involved in the study got flu shots. Then, the researchers performed blood tests to measure influenza antibody levels at 4 weeks and 16 weeks after vaccination to evaluate how well the vaccines were working.
According to the researchers, of all the factors measured, only positive mood accurately affected how well the vaccine worked, as indicated by higher levels of influenza antibodies. On the day of the vaccination itself, being in a good mood resulted in 8 to 14 percent higher levels of antibodies.