Flu Shot Effectiveness Is In Your Genes

The annual question: “Does this flu shot really work?” has a brand new answer this year: “It depends on your genes.” Researchers at Yale have identified several genes and gene clusters associated with the immune response to influenza (“flu”) vaccination, a finding that suggests that doctors may someday use genetic profiles to predict individual responses to the flu vaccine. A Yale news release reports that the research team identified several gene “signatures,” or groups of genes, that were associated with a stronger response to the flu vaccine, based on increases in antibodies that protect against infection. The researchers also found that the while the genes were predictive of a robust vaccine response in adults younger than age 35, those same genes did not improve responses in adults over age 60.

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