HealthDay News Receipt of COVID-19 vaccination is associated with declines in psychological distress reported by US adults, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jonathan Koltai, Ph.D., from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and colleagues regularly interviewed a nationally representative cohort of US adults (8,090 people) participating in the Understanding America Study between March 2020 and June 2021 (28 waves) to assess whether COVID-19 vaccination reduced psychological distress.

The researchers found that vaccination was associated with a decline in distress. Specifically, vaccination was associated with a 7.77% point drop in the perceived risk for infection, a 6.91% point reduction in the perceived risk for hospitalization, and a 4.68% point reduction in the perceived risk for death. Vaccinated and never-vaccinated respondents followed similar Patient Health Questionnaire 4 trends before vaccination but diverged significantly after vaccination. There was variance observed in the effect of vaccination on distress by race/ethnicity, with the largest declines observed among American Indian and Alaska Native individuals.


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“Our study documents important psychological benefits of vaccination beyond reducing the risk of severe illness and death associated with COVID-19,” Koltai said in a statement. “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.”

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