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Boosting your body’s vaccine response: Stress doesn’t help

‘We can exert some control over our mental and physical health’
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 12:51 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 12:54 PM EST
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(CNN) – If you’re still waiting your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you have time to boost your body’s response to it.

A new study in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests your mental and physical health can affect how your body reacts.

“Ironically, the pandemic itself is fueling a lot of these risk factors for poor vaccine response,” according to Annelise Madison, an Ohio State researcher and lead author of the study.

The research focused on different vaccines over the past 30 years. It found self-care is key to vaccine efficacy.

“These risk factors including stress, depression, loneliness, poor health behaviors can impact the side effects to the vaccine,” Madison said. “They can impact the amount of time it takes to develop immunity to COVID-19.”

Poor mental and physical health may also shorten the time in which the vaccine works, according to the researcher.

But she says focusing on things like getting good sleep or even exercising within 24 hours of getting a COVID shot can boost its response.

“I think it’s a helpful and hopeful message that even in this time when there’s so much out of our control, that we can exert some control over our mental and physical health,” Madison said.

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