Morning Flu Shots Most Effective
Once people are convinced of the importance of getting a flu shot, there is one more bit of advice that medical science has for them.
When to get their flu shot.
The results of a study carried out at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. has led experts to believe that the time of day that a vaccine is given might alter how effective it is. The findings could have huge implications for at-risk populations.
Most people don’t realize that flu still kills between 250,000 and 500,000 individuals per year around the world.
Recently, a new area of medical science has come to the fore, called “chronobiology.” It’s the study of how the body's biological systems respond differently throughout the course of a day. This new research has revealed that there are fluctuations in the way the immune system responds to challenges across a 24-hour period.
This study team took data from 24 doctors’ offices during the U.K. influenza vaccination program of 2011. In total, 276 adults were vaccinated, either during the morning (9-11am) or afternoon (3-5pm).
For 2 of the 3 prevalent flu strains that year, individuals who received the vaccination in the morning created a significantly larger increase in antibody concentrations (1 month after the injection) than people who received it during the afternoon. For the third flu strain, there was no difference.
Researchers hope to extend their research to investigate this potential vaccination timing effect on individuals with existing conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes.