Mental Health News – A new study shows how Covid-19 vaccines improve people’s physical and mental health. The findings refute the logic of anti-vaccination movements across the world.
A new study reinforces the positive impact of Covid-19 vaccines on mental health. The study was undertaken by the research group, Elsevier, and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought immense mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and stress disorders. Several factors contributed, such as income loss, food insecurity, social isolation, racialized discrimination, etc. The world looked to the Covid-19 vaccine as a sure way to reinstate the “new normal” in the aftermath of this devastation.
In the study titled “Understanding Coronavirus in America”, the researchers interviewed 8090 adults during March 2020–June 2021. They specifically examined adults who received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020–June 2021. They used the Patient Health Questionnaire 4 (PHQ-4) to measure distress scores in the survey period.
They found that vaccinated people reported a 7% reduction in mental distress, in comparison to unvaccinated people. The researchers linked these reductions in distress to declining risk perceptions associated with infection (7.77%), hospitalization (6.91%), and risk of death (4.68%).
The reduction in distress caused by vaccination continued for at least 8 weeks. Interestingly, while the mental responses of vaccinated and unvaccinated people remained the same before vaccination, they diverged post-vaccination. People felt safer, mentally and physically, after taking the vaccine.
The results noted that the impact of vaccination on mental health varied by race/ethnicity. The largest rates of distress reduction were witnessed in American Indians (AI) and Alaska Natives (AN). This is because the Asian and Pacific Islanders availed Covid-19 vaccination the most, in comparison to the Blacks, Whites, and other colored segments of the US population.
This study flies in the face of the logic of the anti-vaccination movements across the world. If its findings are communicated widely—showing people how vaccination improves their immunity and quality of life—they will avail themselves vaccines more. This can help increase vaccination rates and achieve vaccine equality globally.
One of the lead researchers, Dr. Koltai, stressed, “To ensure these benefits are widely shared, efforts to increase vaccination and booster rates in early 2022 need to prioritize equitable distribution and access to vaccines.”
To Know More You May Relate To
Koltai, J., Raifman, J., Bor, J., McKee, M., & Stuckler, D. (2021). COVID-19 Vaccination and Mental Health: A Difference-In-difference Analysis of the Understanding America Study. American journal of preventive medicine, S0749-3797(21)00601-2. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2021.11.006