The antibody response to influenza vaccination is not impaired in type 2 diabetics

Vaccine. 2015 Jun 26;33(29):3306-13. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.05.043. Epub 2015 Jun 1.


Background: Diabetics are considered to be at high risk for complications from influenza infection and type 2 diabetes is a significant comorbidity of obesity. Obesity is an independent risk factor for complications from infection with influenza. Annual vaccination is considered the best strategy for protecting against influenza infection and it's complications. Our previous study reported intact antibody responses 30 days post vaccination in an obese population. This study was designed to determine the antibody response to influenza vaccination in type 2 diabetics.

Methods: Subjects enrolled were 18 or older without immunosuppressive diseases or taking immunosuppressive medications. A pre-vaccination blood draw was taken at time of enrollment, the subjects received the influenza vaccine and returned 28-32 days later for a post-vaccination blood draw. Height and weight were also obtained at the first visit and BMI was calculated. Antibody levels to the vaccine were determined by both ELISA and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assays.

Results: As reported in our previous work, obesity positively correlates with the influenza antibody response (p=0.02), while age was negatively correlated with antibody response (p<0.001). In both year 1 and year 2 of our study there was no significant difference in the percentage of the type 2 diabetic subjects classified as seroprotected or a responder to the influenza vaccine compared to the non-diabetic subjects.

Conclusions: These data are important because they demonstrate that diabetics, considered a high risk group during influenza season, are able to mount an antibody response to influenza vaccination that may protect them from influenza infection.

Keywords: Antibody and immune response; Diabetes; Influenza vaccine; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Influenza Vaccines