Vitamin D is not associated with serologic response to influenza vaccine in adults over 50 years old

Maria E. Sundaram, H. Keipp Talbot, Yuwei Zhu, Marie R. Griffin, Sarah Spencer, David K. Shay, Laura A. Coleman

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38 Scopus citations


Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in risk of respiratory illness. We determined whether serum vitamin D levels are related to influenza vaccine response measured by hemagglutination antibody inhibition (HAI) titer in adults aged ≥50 years old. The study was a prospective cohort study conducted over two influenza seasons (fall 2008-spring 2009 and fall 2009-spring 2010) in Marshfield, WI and Nashville, TN including 1103 community-dwelling adult volunteers ≥50 years of age. Pre-vaccination levels of serum vitamin D and HAI titer levels pre- and 21-28 days post-influenza vaccination were measured. Seroprotection was defined as HAI ≥40; seroconversion was defined as ≥4-fold rise in HAI titers from pre- to post-vaccination. More than 25% of participants were vitamin D deficient (<25. ng/mL). Vitamin D measured as a continuous variable was not related to pre- or post-vaccination seroprotection or seroconversion for any vaccine strain in any year. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with a greater frequency of post-vaccination seroprotection for seasonal H1N1 in the first year of the study, but was not related to seroprotection or seroconversion for any other strain in either year. No consistent association was found between vitamin D levels or vitamin D deficiency and serologic response to influenza vaccination in older adults. Cell-mediated immune parameters should also be explored in order to further investigate possible relationships between micronutrient status and influenza vaccine response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2057-2061
Number of pages5
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 12 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project has been funded in part by CDC grants 5 U18 IP000183-02 , 1 U18 IP000184-01 , and K23 A1074863-01A1 (Talbot). This research was supported in part by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy and CDC. Contributions: D.K.S., E.A.B., H.K.T., and L.A.C. designed the research and provided oversight for conducting the research. Y.Z. and M.S. performed statistical analysis. M.S. and L.A.C. wrote the paper. M.S. had primary responsibility for final content; valuable input for final content was provided by all authors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Conflict of interest: L.A. Coleman is an employee of Abbott Nutrition; at the time this research completed, L.A. Coleman was an employee of Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. M.E.Sundaram, H.K. Talbot, Y. Zhu, M.R. Griffin, S. Spencer, and D.K. Shay declare no conflict of interest.


  • Influenza
  • Vaccine
  • Vaccine response
  • Vitamin D


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