Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown a link between the effects of a flu shot, the patient’s sex and the time of day. The immune response is different in men and women.
Women should therefore get the flu shot in the afternoon, while the morning is the perfect time for men. The main reason for these different effects depending on gender is that the hormonal balance varies over the course of the day. The daily cycles in the hormonal balance are very different depending on gender. The new discovery is that the release of sex hormones and immune messenger substances are related. So far, this is a preliminary finding and will be investigated further on family doctor patients in Birmingham. The findings could mean progress in the flu vaccination: So far, the immune system has reacted rather sluggishly to the vaccination, especially in older patients: only just under half of those vaccinated responded to it at all, and only a third of them were completely immunized.