The effectiveness of a vaccine may be higher for elite athletes, according to two studies covered by Gretchen Reynolds of the NY Times.

Together, the two studies tell us that being in shape is likely to increase our protection from a vaccination, no matter how intensely or when we work out before the shot, Dr. Sester says.

– Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times

person holding test tubes
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Why It Matters

With annual flu season beginning shortly and a publicly available COVID-19 vaccine hopefully on the horizon for 2021, a connection between physical activity and vaccine effectiveness would accelerate the urgency of addressing the public health crisis of physical inactivity and sedentary behavior, especially in older individuals and other at-risk categories. It’s important to note, however, that these studies did not assess the impact of vaccines on non-elite athletes, so we shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that all physical activity improves vaccine effectiveness. More research is needed, immediately.