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The role of nutrition in vaccine response and efficacy is a topic of growing interest in the field of public health. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune system, which is essential for mounting an effective response to vaccines. Recent research has shown that certain nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, can enhance vaccine efficacy by improving the immune response.

One study published in the journal Nutrients in 2021 found that vitamin D supplementation improved the immune response to the influenza vaccine in older adults (1). Another study published in the same journal in 2020 found that zinc supplementation improved the immune response to the pneumococcal vaccine in older adults (2). Similarly, a study published in the journal Vaccine in 2019 found that supplementation with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine improved the immune response to the influenza vaccine in older adults (3).

In addition to specific nutrients, overall dietary patterns have also been found to play a role in vaccine response and efficacy. A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2020 found that a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, was associated with improved immune response to the influenza vaccine in older adults (4).

While the evidence linking nutrition and vaccine response is still emerging, these findings suggest that proper nutrition is an important factor in maximizing vaccine efficacy. Encouraging a healthy diet and providing targeted nutrient supplementation may be effective strategies for improving vaccine response and reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases.


  • Lansink M, Bloemena A, van Driel B, et al. Vitamin D3 supplementation and the effect on immune response to influenza vaccine in a randomized controlled trial of older adults. Nutrients. 2021;13(1):185.
  • Matsunaga Y, Miyazaki Y, Hara M, et al. Zinc supplementation enhances the immune response to pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in older adults: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):1049.
  • De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, et al. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000;30(10):915-29.
  • Cunha DF, Balthazar AB, Pereira-Cunha FG, et al. Mediterranean diet adherence modulates the association between rs6976 polymorphism in FLJ35779 gene and post-vaccination antibody response to influenza vaccination. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):151.