Our fifth and final blog this week in our series of how to stave off colds this winter is all about the flu vaccination...
It’s a controversial subject – should you or shouldn’t you have it? Flu vaccination is estimated to be effective in 17-53% of older adults compared to 70-90% of younger people.
But if you do decide to have the flu vaccination, a recent study conducted by Nottingham University has found that being in a good mood when you have your flu jab boosts its efficiency.
The team of scientists measured negative mood, positive mood, physical activity, diet and sleep three times a week over a six week period in a group of 138 older people due to have their flu jab. Then they examined how well the jab was working by measuring the amount of influenza antibody in the blood at four weeks and 16 weeks after the vaccination.
The results showed that of all of the factors measured, only positive mood over the six week observational period predicted how well the jab worked – with good mood associated with higher levels of antibody. In fact, when the researchers looked at influences on the day of vaccination itself, they found an even greater effect on how well it worked, accounting for between 8 and 14% of the variability in antibody levels.
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