Volunteers sought for study exploring the impact of exercise on vaccine immunity response

24th January 2022

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and Leeds Beckett University are recruiting volunteers from Sheffield and Leeds to participate in a new study that will explore whether a single bout of exercise an hour before a vaccine booster jab has a posit

The government does not currently offer official guidance or advice on physical activity before vaccination.  
Previous research has found that exercise immediately prior to being vaccinated has increased immunity against a range of diseases, most notably flu and pneumococcus, due to the changes that exercise creates at a cellular level.  
This new study, which is supported by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will explore the effects of a single exercise session prior to booster vaccine at both antibody and cellular level, and whether it would be feasible to roll out interventions on a large scale.  
Dr Markos Klonizakis, project lead and Reader in clinical physiology at Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“If an annual Covid-19 booster vaccination becomes the norm, it is worthwhile exploring the ways in which this immunity can be further enhanced. We know that a short bout of exercise helps to increase vaccine immunity against other diseases, so it would be really valuable to understand if this is also the case with the Covid-19 vaccine. We won’t be able to achieve this without people volunteering to take part in this study, so if you have your booster jab planned in the near future and wish to help, please do get in touch.” 

Adults aged over 40 and due to have their booster vaccine are encouraged to come forward to take part in the study. Those who have previously contracted Covid-19 and awaiting their booster jab are welcome to volunteer to take part.  
Participants will be divided into four groups and asked to follow a range of exercise protocols, including high and moderate intensity training, and resistance training. Immunity levels will be assessed prior to vaccination, and two- and 12-weeks post vaccination.  
People living in Sheffield or Leeds who would like to know more about the study are encouraged to contact Tom Parkington (heartresearch@shu.ac.uk, 0114 2253925) before the end of March 2022.

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