News about COVID-19 vaccination seems like light at the end of the tunnel for some of us. While note everyone is keen on getting a dose immediately, all of us should understand that getting a vaccination requires some preparation and follow through.
When viruses are detected, we experience coughing, sneezing, inflammation, and fever as a result of the immune system’s attempt to block, trap, and expel the threats. This initial reaction triggered by our body is called the innate immune response.
But we also have a second line of defense called adaptive immunity. Specialized immune cells fight threats and keep a record of what they are and how exactly to defeat them.
Vaccines trigger your adaptive immunity by training the body’s immune response even before the threat arrives. This makes your body familiar and ready for a known virus without getting exposed to disease.
There are certain nutrients that can help significantly in preparing your immune system for vaccination. Vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C, and D, and minerals like zinc, selenium, iron, and copper are some of the crucial micronutrients needed for proper immune response to a vaccine.
Age, health conditions, poor lifestyle, and poor dietary choices can contribute to the chronic insufficiency of these micronutrients. To meet each of their recommended daily allowance for the right immune condition, increase and diversify your dietary intake of these micronutrients and consider supplementation for a period of weeks before and after vaccination.
TED-Ed. 2015. “How Do Vaccines Work? – Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut.” YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb7TVW77ZCs.
Rayman, M. & Calder, P. 2021. “Optimising COVID-19 vaccine efficacy by ensuring nutritional adequacy.” British Journal of Nutrition. Retrieved March 4, 2021 (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/optimising-covid19-vaccine-efficacy-by-ensuring-nutritional-adequacy/5F25F117DED5141638554BAAFC66E1FF).
Richardson, D. & Lovegrove, J. 2020. “Nutritional Status of Micronutrients as a Possible and Modifiable Risk Factor for COVID-19: A UK Perspective.” British Journal of Nutrition 125(6):678–84. doi:10.1017/s000711452000330x.