Dr. Kevin Most: Flu Vaccines

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Doctor Kevin Most

Flu Vaccines

Believe it or not, Summer is over and flu season is right around the corner.

Well each year we take a segment and do some flu education and information. This year there is an interesting twist. A study completed in England took a different view on what is the best time to get a flu shot. We all know the approximate time of the year to get the vaccine and we know the protection from the vaccine will last thru the flu season. Recently we have noted that as we age we need a high dose vaccine for those over the age of 65 and that vaccine is available again. Now we take a deeper look at senior vaccine times. This study which came out of Birmingham England shows that seniors who receive their vaccine between 9 am and 11 am have a higher response rate and offer greater protection to seniors when compared to seniors who received their vaccine in the afternoon between 3 pm and 5 pm. This is very interesting and is being studied again this year at multiple sites.

The thought is that it has to do with cortisol levels in your body, cortisol levels are at their highest about 1 hour after waking and decline as the day goes on. The hypothesis is that cortisol aids in the immune response for the flu vaccine. Future studies will verify this but for this year, it certainly would not hurt for seniors to receive their vaccines before 11 am.