Flu vaccine produces better outcomes when administered in the morning

It may be better to administer flu vaccines earlier in the day when possible, according to new research published in Vaccine.

In a randomized U.K. trial, 276 patients were given influenza vaccines either between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., or between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. For two of three viral strains, those who received their vaccinations in the morning produced significantly larger concentrations of the antibodies that help fight flu.

"We know that there are fluctuations in immune responses throughout the day and wanted to examine whether this would extend to the antibody response to vaccination," Anna Phillips, PhD, principal investigator on the study, said in a statement. "Being able to see that morning vaccinations yield a more efficient response will not only help in strategies for flu vaccination, but might provide clues to improve vaccination strategies more generally."

The research team is planning trials to determine whether time of day has an impact on vaccine administration for viruses other than flu, and what other benefits it may have for managing chronic disease, particularly in those over 65. 

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