Vaccines, depression and stress

Comment: As countries move towards rolling out Covid-19 vaccinations to the population it is useful to look at a suggestion that our psychological state may impact upon the effectiveness of vaccinations. This article I found (Depression and Stress Could Dampen Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines: Interventions and Health Behavior Changes Could Boost Immunity) highlights that Decades of research show that depression, stress, loneliness, and poor health behaviors can weaken the body’s immune system and lower the effectiveness of certain vaccines.

It should be noted that there is no specific evidence that these factors impact current covid-19 vaccines.

Extract and links below

Vaccines are among the safest and most effective advances in medical history, protecting society from a wide range of otherwise devastating diseases, including smallpox and polio. The key to their success, however, is ensuring that a critical percentage of the population is effectively vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity.

Even though rigorous testing has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for distribution in the United States 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…

“In our research, we focus most heavily on the antibody response, though it is just one facet of the adaptive immune system’s response,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at The Ohio State University and senior author on the paper.

The good news, according to the researchers, is that the COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation are approximately 95% effective. Even so, these psychological and behavioral factors can lengthen the amount of time it takes to develop immunity and can shorten the duration of immunity…

Click here for original article at the Association for Psychological Science

Click here for the research publication