Can Covid shots improve mental health?

While Covid vaccinations are known to reduce risk of death and hospitalisation from the infectious disease, a new study points out that they can also reduce anxiety and boost mental health.

A team of researchers at the University of Southern California has found evidence suggesting that people who were vaccinated against Covid-19 experienced less stress afterward and saw resulting improvement in their mental health.

They found that people experienced a 15 per cent decrease in the likelihood of feeling very depressed after being vaccinated and a 4 per cent reduction in the likelihood of feeling just mildly depressed.

The team estimates that based on their data, it is likely that one million people have felt reductions in mental distress after being vaccinated. The findings are published in the open-access site PLOS ONE.

The researchers further suggest that their data indicates that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 does more than just protect people from infection — it also greatly reduces the fear and anxiety people feel about their likelihood of being infected.

For the study, the team sent out more than 8,000 surveys to people across the country with questions geared toward gauging how the pandemic was impacting the mental health of people in general and impacts on their mental health after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination.

Data from the surveys showed that the majority of people queried have been experiencing some degree of anxiety and depression as a result of the pandemic.