People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation, according to a new study.
The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who believed the statements to be true were half as likely to be vaccinated, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated.
“It is clear the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people,” said researcher Katherine Ognyanova from Rutgers University, the US.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the US have consistently reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The findings suggest that people suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of Covid-19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
For the study, the team used data from the research group The Covid States Project, which conducted surveys approximately once every six weeks since April 2020.
The researchers analysed data from 15,464 adults in the US and the participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate (statement is true), inaccurate (statement is not true) or not sure.
The four statements of misinformation included “The Covid-19 vaccines will alter people’s DNA”, “The vaccines contain microchips that could track people”, “The vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses”, and “The -19 vaccines can cause infertility, making it more difficult to get pregnant”.
The survey participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms over two weeks.