Is There Something We Can Do to Help Vaccines Work?

The world has never watched so closely as scientists work to develop a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19. While encouraging to see the news about a number of vaccines with high efficacy coming down the pipeline, there are other things that can be done to increase the effectiveness of all vaccines.

Nutrition plays a major role in vaccine efficacy. A recent study in PLOS concluded that “monitoring nutrition may be a practical and low-cost way to impact vaccination outcomes.” The study reflected that good nutrition was key to bolstering the immune response to both the BCG tuberculosis (TB) vaccine and TB treatment itself.  

Even prior to the pandemic, we knew that undernutrition in its own right was a killer. The pandemic has compounded the climate crisis, which has led to increased extreme weather events and swarms of locusts that have added further pressure on fragile food systems. Prior to the pandemic, it was estimated that there were 690 million undernourished people. According to the World Food Programme  that number could increase by another 132 million by the end of this year.

Excerpted from The Telegraph

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