Iron and Vaccine Efficacy

Considering the current vaccine campaign that has injected 7.35 billion humans, I think it is more than reasonable to consider adjusting health parameters to make sure people who are receiving these shots have the best possible outcome.

Obesity, diabetes and a general state of metabolic derangement makes the creation of robust immune memory poor and the overall vaccine induced immune response less effective. 

This is not just for the C related viral infections, this goes for influenza virus vaccines as well. The host is the game changer related to the effectiveness or lack thereof of these shots.

Iron deficiency and vaccine efficacy

In my own practice I promote daily lifestyle adjustments to promote overcoming obesity, diabetes and the host of metabolic inflammatory processes plaguing patients in the industrialized world.

It is paramount that public health and primary care doctors keep this understanding at the forefront when it comes to maximizing immunity. 

Along with that, I want to speak to the number one micronutrient deficiency in the world, iron deficiency. Evidence is coming to light showing that a lack of iron impairs adaptive immunity and responses to vaccines. 

Adaptive immunity is vital as it is the portion of our immune system that attacks and destroys pathogenic invaders and then creates an immune remembrance for the pathogen when our body encounters it in the future.

Research on iron and vaccine efficacy

In February 2021, the European Hematology Association issued a series of statements from their expert panel in talking about vaccinating people with hematological conditions. 

“In relation to C19 vaccines, it is advisable to correct the iron deficiency before administration of the C19 vaccine.”

Preclinical trials have shown that both low serum iron and iron deficiency decrease the availability of iron to cells and impair the immune response to vaccination and infection. 

One study published in the Journal of Hematology, Sept 2021, revealed that those who had iron deficiency anemia had a lower vaccine-induced antibodies compared to their non iron deficient counterparts.  Another study in Kenya suggested that the availability of iron in the blood was a limiting factor for vaccine efficacy. 

Holistic approach

This is another sign of pigeonhole medical practice. It is vital that we see patients holistically and not jump to quick fixes or shots as they could prove less effective and potentially useless.  But in the process they give people a false sense of security against infectious pathogens. 

Whether you are looking to get and maintain natural immunity or a level of immunity via vaccination getting your iron and ferritin levels checked should be high priority.  It is simple, inexpensive and readily available.

And if your levels are low, be sure to follow guidance on getting levels into optimal range. For more information on iron dosing, check out this post.

Have you had your ferritin levels checked?

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