Positive mood on the day of influenza vaccination in older adults is associated with enhanced vaccine effectiveness, according to a study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Kieran Ayling, PhD, from the Division of Primary Care at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective, diary-based longitudinal observational cohort study of psychological and behavioral influences on influenza vaccination responses in older adults between August 2014 and March 2015. A total of 138 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 to 85 years who received the 2014/15 influenza vaccination completed repeated psycho-behavioral measures over the 2 weeks prior, and 4 weeks following influenza vaccination.

At baseline, participants provided written informed consent, demographic data, height and weight measurements, and had a pre-vaccination blood sample taken. Participants then began a 6-week intensive data collection period with psychological and behavioral factors measured via daily diaries and pedometers on 3 consecutive, randomly-selected days each week. Post-vaccination serum samples were scheduled to assess both short-term and long-term antibody responses to vaccination.

Continue Reading

Researchers tested for behavioral influences, including physical activity, nutrition, and sleep, as well as psychological influences, including stress and positive or negative mood. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses were measured via antigen microarray and seroprotection levels were measured via hemagglutination inhibition assays at 4 and 16 weeks post-vaccination. High pre-vaccination seroprotection levels were observed for H3N2 and B viral strains.

Positive mood on the day of vaccination was a significant predictor of H1N1 seroprotection at 16 weeks post-vaccination and of IgG responses to vaccination at 4 and 16 weeks post-vaccination. Positive mood across the 6-week observation period was also significantly associated with post-vaccination H1N1 seroprotection and IgG responses to vaccination at 16 weeks post-vaccination.

Related Articles

“We found that greater positive mood, whether measured repeatedly over a 6-week period around vaccination, or on the day of vaccination, significantly predicted greater antibody responses to influenza vaccination in the least immunogenic viral strain (H1N1),” the authors concluded. “This effect was observed when measuring both absolute levels of IgG and seroprotection as determined by [hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies].”


Ayling K, Fairclough L, Tighe P, et al. Positive mood on the day of influenza vaccination predicts vaccine effectiveness: A prospective observational cohort study [published online September 18, 2017]. Brain Behav Immun. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.09.008