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Current research at the University of Nottingham, led by Professor Kavita Vedhara, will consider whether using comedy before administering the flu jab, will increase the effectiveness of the vaccination.

Image: PA

Kavita was interviewed by Jacqui Thornton, an independent journalist who's article was picked up by The Times, the Nottinghamshire Post, the Mirror, and Radio Berkshire. 

This research - joint funded by the MRC, the University of Nottingham and the SPCR - comes after an earlier study, by Kavita and SPCR trainee Dr Kieran Ayling in 2017, found that being in a good mood for your flu jab boosts its effectiveness. Read the article.

The article by Jacqui Thornton read: "The results of the study of 138 older people, published last year, showed that having a greater positive mood on the day of the vaccination increased the likelihood of being protected against flu. Four months after the vaccination, 63% of those with a high positive mood had levels of antibody which indicated they were protected against flu, compared with only 37% of people who had a less positive mood. This was regardless of age, gender, and existing illnesses.

But now the challenge is on to see if researchers can actually boost positive mood before the jab is received - by showing people comedy clips and playing them uplifting music to make them happier.

Thanks to £315,000 from the Medical Research Council, the University of Nottingham, and the School for Primary Care Research at the National Institute of Health Research, the same team at the university led by Professor Vedhara will now carry out a much bigger trial which has some significant differences.

Like the first study, the new trial will feature people aged 65 to 85. A total of 650 people will be selected to take part from 13 different primary care practices in Nottingham.

And also like the first study, their mood ahead of vaccination will be measured through a combination of questionnaires and facial images which people have to assess themselves against."

Read the full article by Jacqui Thornton in the Northamptonshire PostThe Times, and the Mirror.