London: Flu vaccinations, when administered in the morning, can prove to be more effective than in afternoon and can induce greater and protective antibody responses, finds a study.
Human body exhibits fluctuations in the immune responses throughout the day.
The findings revealed that people who were administered the influenza vaccinations in the morning showed a significant increase in antibody concentration in their body.
"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," said lead researcher Anna Phillips from University of Birmingham in Britain.
Influenza virus is responsible for between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths each year globally. The age-related decline in immunity reduces the ability of older adults to produce adequate antibody responses following vaccination, compromising the given protection.
A significant amount of resource is used to try and prevent flu infection each year, particularly in older adults, but less than half make enough antibody to be fully protected, the researchers noted in the paper published in the journal Vaccine.
"The results suggest that by shifting the time of vaccinations to the morning we can improve their efficiency with no extra cost to the health service," explained professor Janet Lord.
For the study, 276 adults aged over 65 were vaccinated against three strains of influenza, either in morning surgeries (9-11 a.m.) or afternoon surgeries (3-5 p.m.).
Those in the morning cohort saw a significantly larger increase in antibody concentration one month following vaccination, when compared with those in the afternoon cohort.
It is important to see if the morning vaccination strategy benefits a wide range of people over 65, including those with conditions like diabetes, liver and kidney disease that impair immunity, the researchers concluded.