Older people’s immune systems decline with age, reducing their ability to produce an adequate antibody response after influenza vaccination.
University of Birmingham researchers wanted to discover whether the time the flu vaccination is given has any impact on the amount of antibodies produced.
Some 276 patients aged over 65 years from 24 practices in the West Midlands were vaccinated against three flu strains in either a morning or afternoon clinic. A month after the vaccination was given, the morning patients had produced a larger concentration of antibodies against two of the flu strains compared with those treated in the afternoon.
Reporting their findings in Vaccine (online, 26 April 2016)
, the researchers conclude that morning vaccinations may help create more effective flu and other immunisation strategies.