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

Dealing with Differences

Comment: I found this short article on how to deal with differences in regards to wearing masks during the time of Covid-19. It was published by THE CONVERSATION and the author is Nicole Hassoun Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Philosophy and psychology agree – yelling at people who aren’t wearing masks won’t work

As a professor of philosophy working on global health ethics, I believe the conflict between mask wearers and non-wearers raises some important ethical questions:

Is it acceptable to comment on others’ apparent irresponsibility when they choose not to wear a mask or try to shame them into wearing one? Is this approach effective?

Link to original article click here


Comment: In the time of Covid-19 understanding the factors that govern loneliness has become even more important. A new approach is an attempt to examine whether loneliness can be measured in the brain.

Loneliness – empty swing in mysterious fog

Why do you feel lonely? Neuroscience is starting to find answers.

Long before the world had ever heard of covid-19, Kay Tye set out to answer a question that has taken on new resonance in the age of social distancing: When people feel lonely, do they crave social interactions in the same way a hungry person craves food? And could she and her colleagues detect and measure this “hunger” in the neural circuits of the brain?……Click here for original article in the MIT Technology Review