COVID 19 Vaccination and Vitamin D Supplementation – The Theory


  • COVID 19 infection has struck the world in chaos. In this fast running quest to find solution of which, we cannot ignore that Vitamin D deficiency(VDD) and COVID 19 are two colliding pandemics. Vitamin D Deficiency is common worldwide; however, its prevalence varies according to geographical location, latitude, race and seasons. Individuals with VDD were shown to have a higher risk of COVID 19 Infection (Weir, 2020). In this respect Indians will be more susceptible to COVID infection owing to a high prevalence of VDD ranging from 80% to 100% as reported by various studies (Aparna, 2018).
  • Vitamin D is known to possess immunomodulatory effects (Turrubiates‑Hernández, 2021) and might affect the immunogenic response to COVID vaccination. Even though direct association of vitamin D and COVID 19 vaccination is yet not established due to lack of a scientific study, an open letter in British Journal of Nutrition, has highlighted the role of adequate nutrition for a good immunogenic response to vaccination (Rayman, 2021).

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  • In the current time when the vaccination drive is at its fullest, we review the evidences and possible mechanisms through which Vitamin D can help boost our immunogenicity post vaccination. Studies measure antibody response as a surrogate of host protection against the pathogen and response to the vaccine, it is seen that vitamin D’s effects on innate immunity influence adaptive responses (Ovsyannikova IG, 2010). Other studies have shown the effect of Vitamin D supplementation in Vaccine response for diseases like Hepatitis B, Tetanus, HPV (Zimmerman RK, 2015) (Zitt E, 2012). A positive serological response of vitamin D was seen for influenza vaccine in patients with prostate cancer (Chadha MK, 2011). Vitamin D promotes cathelicidin production, regulation of inflammatory markers and has an important role in lung immunity (Hansdottir, 2011).
  • Emerging data also suggests that better vitamin D repletion and correcting deficiency with Vitamin D can reduce covid-19 severity and mortality, information that has led to correction of vitamin D deficiency being included in protocols for treating Covid-19 patients (Kory P, 2020).In the current scenario when the association of VDD and COVID 19 and role of vitamin D in COVID 19 infection is established, vitamin D supplementation becomes a point to be thought of to be researched more, given its proposed potential in boosting vaccines efficacy. Needless to say that COVID pandemic and vitamin D deficiency pandemic, both are not over yet and we need keep up the awareness for Vitamin D supplementation to fight both.

Please always ensure to check with your Doctor / Healthcare / Family Physician before starting with any new medication or therapy.

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  1. Aparna, P. M. (2018). Vitamin D deficiency in India. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 7(2), 324–330.
  2. Chadha MK, F. M. (2011). Effect of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Status on Serological Response to Influenza Vaccine in Prostate Cancer Patients. Prostate , 71:368–372. pmid:20812224.
  3. Hansdottir, S. &. (2011). Vitamin D effects on lung immunity and respiratory diseases. Vitamins and hormones, 86,.217–237.
  4. Kory P, M. G. (2020). Clinical and Scientific rationale for . the “MATH+” hospital treatment protocol for COVID-19. Journal Of Intensive Care Medicine , 1-20.
  5. Ovsyannikova IG, D. N. (2010). Rubella vaccine-induced cellular immunity: evidence of associations with polymorphisms in the Toll-like, vitamin A and D receptors, and innate immune response genes. Human Genetics, 127(2):207–221.
  6. Rayman, M. P. (2021). Optimising COVID-19 vaccine efficacy by ensuring nutritional adequacy. The British journal of nutrition, 1–2. Advance online publication.
  7. Turrubiates‑Hernández, F. S.‑Z.‑E.‑B.‑O.‑V. (2021). Potential immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D in the prevention of severe coronavirus disease 2019: An ally for Latin America (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 47, 32.
  8. Weir, E. K. (2020). Does vitamin D deficiency increase the severity of COVID-19? Clinical medicine (London, England), , 20(4), e107–e108. .
  9. Zimmerman RK, L. C. (2015). Do vitamin D levels affect antibody titers produced in response to HPV vaccine? . Human Vaccine Immunotherapy , 10:2345–9.
  10. Zitt E, S.-M. H. (2012). Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor response to active hepatitis B immunization in patients with chronic kidney disease. Vaccine, 30:931–935.

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