Role of Nutritional Sufficiency and COVID 19 Vaccine Efficacy

  • Now that our country has been struggling with the pandemic since past year, the indigenous vaccines have come as a life savior. Interim results and real world data of vaccine efficacy has already been revealed and there is no question as to one should be vaccinated or not, as the answer will be always yes. There have been rigorous efforts by the health fraternity to spread awareness and to ensure the vaccination of elderly in the past few months and the same will be expected in future as the second phase of vaccination commences.
  • As individuals gets vaccinated, the likelihood of a poor response in those who are frail, malnourished or elderly will persist, which might interfere with the efficacy of the vaccination. An effective immune response requires an adequate host nutritional status. Human studies, particularly in the elderly, have associated impairments in immune markers to low status of micronutrients (Calder, 2020). For example, a systematic review and meta-analysis of nine studies involving 2367 individuals found lower seroprotection rates to influenza A virus subtype H3N2 and to influenza B virus in those who were vitamin D deficient. (Lee MD, 2018)

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  • Emerging data 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). It is proposed that a nutritional supplement (e.g. containing vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C, D and E and the minerals Zn, Cu, Se and Fe) should be provided weeks before and after vaccination to increase the efficacy of vaccine (Rayman, 2021).
  • If protection by vaccination against Covid-19 proved to be increased by pre-existing vitamin D repletion, these effects would be useful adjunctive measures for reducing Covid-19 risks nationally, especially in high risk groups for Covid-19 which are well-known to coincide with groups at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.

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  1. Bharat Biotech Announces Phase 3 Results of COVAXIN. (2021). Retrieved from

  2. Calder, P. (2020). Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19. BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health, 3(1):74-92.

  3. 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.

  4. Lee MD, L. C. (2018). Does Vitamin D Deficiency Affect the Immunogenic Responses to Influenza Vaccination? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients , 10, 409.

  5. Rayman, M. P. (2021). Optimising COVID-19 vaccine efficacy by ensuring nutritional adequacy. . The British journal of nutrition,, 1–2. Advance online publication.

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