Influenza vaccinations are more effective when administered to patients in the morning, according to research published in Vaccine.

Researchers analyzed data from 276 adults aged 65 years and older who were administered the influenza vaccine between 2011 and 2013. The vaccine protected against 3 strains of the flu and was administered either between 9 and 11 AM, or 3 and 5 PM. For 2 of the 3 strains, patients vaccinated between 9 and 11 AM showed a significantly larger increase in antibody concentration during the month following vaccination.

“We know there are fluctuations in immune responses throughout the day and wanted to examine whether this would extend to the antibody response to vaccination,” said Anna Phillips, PhD, MSc, BSc, principal investigator, of the School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

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“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,” Dr Phillips concluded.


  1. Long JE, Drayson MT, Taylor AE, et al. Morning vaccination enhances antibody response over afternoon vaccination: A cluster-randomised trial. Vaccine. 2016; doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.04.032