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Flu shots work better when administered early

Created date

July 14th, 2016
Adults over age 65 have been shown to have less protection against the flu.

Adults over age 65 have been shown to have less protection against the flu.

When flu vaccines become available in the next couple of months, you might want to receive yours early in the morning.

That’s because researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have conducted research showing that your body may have a more effective response to vaccines given earlier in the day rather than later. Scientists have long known that there are naturally occurring fluctuations in the body’s immune responses throughout the day, but in this study, the goal was to determine if that effect was the same with flu vaccine-related immune response.

Seniors at risk

Adults over age 65 have been shown to have weaker immune responses and thus less protection against the flu. Chronic conditions can also predispose this group to flu-related complications. Well over half of flu-related hospitalizations and up to 90% of flu-related deaths in the United States occur among seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Results of this study showed that the majority of participants who were vaccinated in the morning had a greater concentration of antibodies in the one-month period following the vaccination than participants vaccinated in the afternoon. The researchers say more studies are needed on larger groups of people, but these results might provide clues for ways to improve vaccination strategies for a number of diseases.

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