Anxiety, depression lowers effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccine: Study

2021-01-16 17:02:02
Anxiety, depression lowers effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccine: Study

Depression, stress and loneliness can weaken the body’s immune system, and lower the effectiveness of certain vaccines, including the new Covid-19 vaccines that are in development and the early stages of global distribution, a new study says.

According to a report accepted for publication in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, simple interventions, including exercise and getting a good night's sleep in the 24 hours before vaccination, may maximise the vaccine's initial effectiveness.

The researchers noted that even though rigorous testing has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution in the US are highly effective at producing a robust immune response, not everyone will immediately gain their full benefit.

Environmental factors, as well as an individual's genetics and physical and mental health, can weaken the body's immune system, slowing the response to a vaccine, they said.

"In addition to the physical toll of Covid-19, the pandemic has an equally troubling mental health component, causing anxiety and depression, among many other related problems," said Annelise Madison, a researcher at The Ohio State University in the ...

"Emotional stressors like these can affect a person's immune system, impairing their ability to ward off infections," said Madison, lead author on the paper.

According to the researchers, most COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation are approximately 95 per cent effective.

However, psychological and behavioural factors can lengthen the amount of time it takes to develop immunity, and can shorten the duration of immunity, they said.

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