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The Unexpected Thing That Might Actually Make Your Flu Shot More Effective

Refinery29 logo Refinery29 30/09/2017 Kasandra Brabaw
Refinery29 © Photographed by Jessica Nash. Refinery29

If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, you might want to wait until you're in good mood to do so. According to new research, getting the vaccine when you're happy might actually make it more effective, Yahoo reports.

For the study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers at the University of Nottingham observed 138 people over six weeks when they were supposed to get their flu shot. They asked the participants three times a week about their mood, how much they'd exercised, what they ate, and how well they slept. Then, they measured the amount of flu antibodies each person had at four weeks and 16 weeks after they got the shot.

By 16 weeks, only 122 people came back to get tested, but researchers were still able to see that those who reported feeling more positive in the weeks before, during, and immediately after they got their shot had higher levels of the influenza antibody — which fights off the virus — in their bodies. Those who were in a good mood on the day that they got the shot, the study claims, had 8% to 14% more antibody in their blood than those who weren't in such a good mood.

While it's true that 138 people, down to 122 by the end of the study, is a really small sample size, there's no reason to avoid following this particular study's advice. After all, who wants to be in a bad mood (on any day, not just while getting a flu shot)? Still, we understand that you can't exactly schedule your vaccinations depending on when you think you'll be in a happy mood. But maybe it's worth it to scroll through some cute and fuzzy puppy pics before you pop into the doctor's office.


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