Special Issue "COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023 | Viewed by 30253

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Evridiki Patelarou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Head of Nursing Department, School of Health Sciences, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 714 10 Iraklio, Greece
Interests: public health; health policy, epidemiology; primary care; health education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Enkeleint A. Mechili
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Healthcare, Faculty of Health, University of Vlora, Vlora Pbox 9401, Albania
Interests: public health; health policy, epidemiology; primary care
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure to introduce this special edition on “COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health”. Nowadys, discussion about vaccines is of high importance. The COVID-19 pandemic is dominating our lives, and the scientific community and general population have their hopes in the development, production and distribution of safe and effective vaccines. The importance of vaccines in the eradication of different communicable diseases is clear. This Special Issue aims to present the impact of vaccines on global health. The Special Issue is focused on different issues, including cost-effectiveness, safety, acceptance rates, efficacy, motivators and barriers against vaccination, to name a few. Additionally, we encourage authors to present, in this Special Issue, the process of development and functioning mechanism of the new generation vaccines (m-RNA) that are used for SARS-CoV-2. For this Special Issue, we welcome articles focusing on the equal distribution of vaccines, especially among marginalized groups.

Dr. Evridiki Patelarou
Dr. Enkeleint A. Mechili
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • vaccines
  • global health
  • cost-effectiveness
  • m-RNA vaccines
  • vaccine development
  • vaccine distribution
  • cost-effectivenes
  • barriers against vaccination

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Published Papers (23 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Retrospective Evaluation of Self-Reported Adverse Events Following Immunization with Different COVID-19 Vaccines in Türkiye
Vaccines 2023, 11(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11020316 - 31 Jan 2023
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Background: The Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines were the first to be introduced in Türkiye to fight the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. As these vaccines had shown some side-effects in its clinical trial, we aimed to conduct a survey study to assess the short-term [...] Read more.
Background: The Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines were the first to be introduced in Türkiye to fight the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. As these vaccines had shown some side-effects in its clinical trial, we aimed to conduct a survey study to assess the short-term adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) in Türkiye. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted using social and electronic media platforms by delivering a pre-formed and validated online questionnaire among people who had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This survey study focused on mass populations from different regions in Türkiye. A total of 603 responses were collected. Among these, 602 were selected based on complete answers and used for the assessment. The collected data were then analyzed to evaluate the various parameters related to the AEFIs of the respondents. Results: Among the total 602 participants, 20.8% were male, and 78.7% were female, actively answering all of the constructive questions. Most of the respondents were between 18–30 years of age. We found that a total of 23.3% of the total respondents had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Our survey revealed that out of 602 volunteers, the rate of experiencing physical discomfort was higher in participants who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at all three doses than in those who had received the Sinovac vaccine. When all vaccine types were examined, the most common side effect was pain at the injection site, reported by 75.19% participants. When the side effects were compared according to vaccine types, there was a significant difference only in terms of fever. Fever rates in those who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (20.96%) were found to be significantly higher than those who had received the Sinovac vaccine (8%). Conclusions: The studied vaccines showed minor side effects and there was no significant difference between the vaccines in terms of other side effects. Moreover, further research is needed to determine the efficacy of the existing vaccines in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections or after-infection hospitalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Balanced Reporting and Boomerang Effect: An Analysis of Croatian Online News Sites Vaccination Coverage and User Comments during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Vaccines 2022, 10(12), 2085; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10122085 - 06 Dec 2022
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to explore online media coverage of COVID-19 vaccination and user reactions to the different types of coverage. The authors aimed to investigate possible boomerang effects that arise when COVID-19 media coverage is assertive and confident, and to [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper was to explore online media coverage of COVID-19 vaccination and user reactions to the different types of coverage. The authors aimed to investigate possible boomerang effects that arise when COVID-19 media coverage is assertive and confident, and to determine the effects of balanced reporting. A two-stage random sample comprised a total of 300 articles published in three Croatian online news sites during a period from 1 February 2020, through 15 January 2022. The data were categorized using human coding content analysis, while reliability of coding was checked by using two coders and calculating reliability coefficients. The data were analyzed by means of negative binomial regression analysis. The results revealed that COVID-19 reporting was mainly consensual, i.e., it provided largely affirmative information about vaccines. However, user comments were highly polarized and mostly negative, with the majority of anti-vaccination tropes linked to the “corrupt elites”. Based on the user comments, the negative influence of balanced reporting on COVID-19 vaccines and the existence of boomerang effect in cases of the overtly persuasive affirmative reporting was also established. The boomerang effect did not depend on the context, i.e., on the type of reporting. This study extends previous research on balanced reporting and boomerang effects by analyzing online comments as a potentially good parallelism of the offline discursive strategies of the pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination communication. The results of the study can be used for the adjustment of strategic communication targeting the vaccine hesitant audience. Based on the study results, it is recommended that relativization and politicization of science should be prevented by not equating scientific consensus with absolute epistemological certainty and by addressing legitimate concerns of vaccine hesitant persons without putting explicit blame on them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
A Novel Finding of an HLA Allele’s and a Haplotype’s Relationship with SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine-Associated Subacute Thyroiditis
Vaccines 2022, 10(12), 1986; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10121986 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Subacute thyroiditis (SAT) is a thyroid disease associated with viral infections. Its relationship with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens was shown before. SAT cases triggered by different types of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines have been reported. In this study, [...] Read more.
Subacute thyroiditis (SAT) is a thyroid disease associated with viral infections. Its relationship with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens was shown before. SAT cases triggered by different types of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines have been reported. In this study, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes of 27 SAT patients (13 vaccine-associated (V-SAT) and 14 non-SARS-CoV-2-infection non-vaccine-associated (non-V-SAT)) were compared with those of 362 healthy donors. HLA analyses were performed with low-resolution DNA-based sequence-specific oligonucleotide or sequence-specific primer methods. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 25 and Stata/MP 14.1 with the hapipf function. Allele and haplotype frequencies were estimated by PyPop and gene[RATE] tool programs. The allele frequencies of HLA-A*11, HLA-B*35, and HLA-C*04 were higher in the patient groups. Both the allele frequency of HLA-A*11 and the haplotype frequency of A*11-B*35-C*04 were higher in the V-SAT group. The A*11-B*35-C*04 haplotype, including all three loci of MHC class I genes, is shown to be associated with the disease for the first time, especially in the V-SAT group. This finding will contribute to a better understanding of the etiopathogenesis of vaccine-associated SAT and the role of HLA genotypes in the functioning mechanisms of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Article
The Impact of Cultural Capital on Vaccine Attitudes among the Slovenian Public
Vaccines 2022, 10(11), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10111947 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Education and highbrow cultural participation—two dimensions of cultural capital—have previously been identified as determinants of vaccine attitudes, though the links have been mainly inconsistent across studies. The present quantitative study aimed to examine the effects of two dimensions of cultural capital (institutionalized and [...] Read more.
Education and highbrow cultural participation—two dimensions of cultural capital—have previously been identified as determinants of vaccine attitudes, though the links have been mainly inconsistent across studies. The present quantitative study aimed to examine the effects of two dimensions of cultural capital (institutionalized and embodied cultural capital) on the pro-vaccine attitudes of the Slovenian public. A cross-sectional quantitative study was performed in November 2019, a few months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The non-probability sample survey was collected by inviting respondents over the age of 18 to participate using the snowball technique via e-mail, digital social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and University of Maribor social network profiles. The sample was obtained through an online survey tool 1ka.si (N = 661; Mage = 34.9 years). The impact of education and highbrow cultural participation on vaccine attitudes was examined, controlling for sociodemographic variables (gender, age and size of residential settlement) and economic variables (income and family economic status) in multivariate analyses. Bivariate analyses indicated that pro-vaccine attitudes were significantly more likely to be expressed by men, younger respondents, those with lower incomes, higher perceived family economic status, living in urban areas and by those who are more frequently engaged in highbrow cultural activities, while education had no impact on vaccine attitudes. The results did not substantially change when multiple regression models were employed. Our study indicated that cultural capital has an inconsistent impact on vaccine attitudes; while education has no impact, highbrow cultural participation increases pro-vaccine attitudes. The results suggest a multi-type approach is needed to address vaccine scepticism among the Slovenian public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Article
Evaluation of Conspiracy Beliefs, Vaccine Hesitancy, and Willingness to Pay towards COVID-19 Vaccines in Six Countries from Asian and African Regions: A Large Multinational Analysis
Vaccines 2022, 10(11), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10111866 - 04 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
Vaccination protects people from serious illness and associated complications. Conspiracy theories and misinformation on vaccines have been rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic and are considered significant drivers of vaccine hesitancy. Since vaccine hesitancy can undermine efforts to immunize the population against COVID-19 and [...] Read more.
Vaccination protects people from serious illness and associated complications. Conspiracy theories and misinformation on vaccines have been rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic and are considered significant drivers of vaccine hesitancy. Since vaccine hesitancy can undermine efforts to immunize the population against COVID-19 and interferes with the vaccination rate, this study aimed to ascertain the COVID-19-vaccine-related conspiracy beliefs, vaccine hesitancy, views regarding vaccine mandates, and willingness to pay for vaccines among the general population. A web-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted (April–August 2021) among the adult population in six countries (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia, Sudan, and Egypt). Participants were recruited using an exponential, non-discriminate snowball sampling method. A validated self-completed electronic questionnaire was used for the data collection. All the participants responded to questions on various domains of the study instrument, including conspiracy beliefs, vaccine hesitancy, and willingness to pay. The responses were scored according to predefined criteria and stratified into various groups. All data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 22. A total of 2481 responses were included in the study (Pakistan 24.1%, Saudi Arabia 19.5%, India 11.6%, Malaysia 8.1%, Sudan 19.3%, and Egypt 17.3%). There was a preponderance of participants ≤40 years old (18–25 years: 55.8%, 26–40 years: 28.5%) and females (57.1%). The average score of the COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy belief scale (C19V-CBS) was 2.30 ± 2.12 (median 2; range 0–7). Our analysis showed that 30% of the respondents were found to achieve the ideal score of zero, indicating no conspiracy belief. The mean score of the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy scale (C19V-HS) was 25.93 ± 8.11 (range: 10–50). The majority (45.7%) had C19V-HA scores of 21–30 and nearly 28% achieved a score greater than 30, indicating a higher degree of hesitancy. There was a significant positive correlation between conspiracy beliefs and vaccine hesitancy (Spearman’s rho = 0.547, p < 0.001). Half of the study population were against the vaccine mandate. Respondents in favor of governmental enforcement of COVID-19 vaccines had significantly (p < 0.001) lower scores on the C19V-CBS and C19V-HS scale. Nearly 52% reported that they would only take vaccine if it were free, and only 24% were willing to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. A high prevalence of conspiracy beliefs and vaccine hesitancy was observed in the targeted countries. Our findings highlight the dire need for aggressive measures to counter the conspiracy beliefs and factors underlying this vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Brazilian Adults’ Attitudes and Practices Regarding the Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination and Their Hesitancy towards Childhood Vaccination
Vaccines 2022, 10(11), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10111853 - 01 Nov 2022
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Background: This study investigated the attitudes and practices of Brazilian adults regarding the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and their hesitancy towards the vaccination of children. Methods: Between March and May 2022, Brazilian adults answered an online questionnaire distributed through social media. The SAGE-WG questionnaire [...] Read more.
Background: This study investigated the attitudes and practices of Brazilian adults regarding the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and their hesitancy towards the vaccination of children. Methods: Between March and May 2022, Brazilian adults answered an online questionnaire distributed through social media. The SAGE-WG questionnaire was adapted to measure hesitancy to the vaccination of children. Results: Of the 1007 participants, 67.4% believed that adult COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory. Just over half of the participants (51.5%) believed that parents and/or guardians should decide if their children should be vaccinated against COVID-19 or not and 9.1% were unsure. Individuals who were younger, non-religious and had higher awareness of COVID-19 risks and critics of the federal government’s performance in combating the pandemic were more likely to agree with mandatory adult vaccination. However, less agreement among parents and/or guardians concerning children’s vaccination was observed, with lower scores for hesitancy to the vaccination of children. Conclusion: In Brazil, there is still far from a consensus on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for adults and a significant proportion of the population believes that parents and/or guardians should be free to decide on their children’s vaccination. These views are associated with age, religion, knowledge of COVID-19 risks and political inclination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Severity and Mortality Predictors of COVID-19 Patients with Thrombotic Events-Evidence from the “COVID-One” Hospital in Albania
Vaccines 2022, 10(11), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10111851 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
COVID-19 vaccination leads to lower infection, morbidity, and mortality rates. However, COVID-19 infection leads to the development of coagulopathy-related manifestations in the form of both venous and arterial thromboembolism. This study aimed to assess the severity and mortality predictors of COVID-19 patients with [...] Read more.
COVID-19 vaccination leads to lower infection, morbidity, and mortality rates. However, COVID-19 infection leads to the development of coagulopathy-related manifestations in the form of both venous and arterial thromboembolism. This study aimed to assess the severity and mortality predictors of COVID-19 patients with thrombotic events in hospitalized patients in Albania. This is a retrospective study conducted in the “Mother Tereza” University Hospital of Tirana. Data were retrieved from the electronic databases of the hospital and only COVID-19 cases admitted to the infectious department during August–December 2020 were selected. Patients who, at admission, had a C-reactive protein (CRP) (mg/L) more than double and a D-dimer (ng/mL) more than triple according to international standards were included in the study. We performed univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis, calculating unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs). A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The study population included 60 hospitalized persons with a mean age of 64.4 years. Increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (OR = 2.93; 95% CI = 0.82–10.42, p-value = 0.1) and increased creatine kinase (CK) (OR = 2.17; 95% CI = 0.63–7.46, p-value = 0.22) were related with increased probability of death. Moreover, a decreased number of lymphocytes was associated with increased mortality but with no statistical significance (OR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.11–1.40, p-value = 0.15). The survival rate was higher for patients without comorbidities (p = 0.045). These results could serve as a baseline and as a reference for healthcare personnel who provides services to hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Further studies should take into consideration the vaccination of the population as well as including more hospitals and patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Determinants of COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance among Dental Professionals: A Multi-Country Survey
Vaccines 2022, 10(10), 1614; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10101614 - 26 Sep 2022
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Purpose: This study sought to investigate the acceptance rate and associated factors of COVID-19 vaccines among dentists and dental students in seven countries. Material and Methods: A structured questionnaire prepared and guided by the report of the SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study sought to investigate the acceptance rate and associated factors of COVID-19 vaccines among dentists and dental students in seven countries. Material and Methods: A structured questionnaire prepared and guided by the report of the SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy was distributed among groups of dentists and dental students in seven countries across four continents. Results: A total of 1527 subjects (850 dentists and 677 dental students) participated in this survey. Although 72.5% of the respondents reported their intention to accept COVID-19 vaccines (dentists: 74.4%, dental students: 70.2%), there was a significant difference in agreement between dentists/dental students across countries; generally, respondents in upper-middle-, and high-income countries (UM-HICs) showed significantly higher acceptance rates compared to those in low- and lower-middle income countries (L-LMICs). Potential predictors of higher vaccine acceptance included being a dentist, being free of comorbidity, being well-informed about COVID-19 vaccines, having better knowledge about COVID-19 complications, having anxiety about COVID-19 infection, having no concerns about the side effects of the produced vaccines and being a resident of an UM-HIC. Conclusion: The results of our survey indicate a relatively good acceptance rate of COVID-19 among the surveyed dentists and dental students. However, dentists and dental students in L-LMICs showed significantly lower vaccine acceptance rates and trust in COVID-19 vaccines compared to their counterparts in UM-HICs. Our results provide important information to policymakers, highlighting the need for implementation of country-specific vaccine promotion strategies, with special focus on L-LMICs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Communication
COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Professionals in the United States
Vaccines 2022, 10(9), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10091425 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Healthcare workers (HCWs) need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because they care for vulnerable patients. Hesitation to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine stems from the argument of bodily autonomy, novel mRNA vaccine technology, and conspiracy theories. However, vaccinations may prevent thousands of hospitalizations and [...] Read more.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because they care for vulnerable patients. Hesitation to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine stems from the argument of bodily autonomy, novel mRNA vaccine technology, and conspiracy theories. However, vaccinations may prevent thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. HCWs have previously complied with other required vaccinations to care for children, elderly, and immunocompromised patients. Yet, COVID-19 vaccination mandates in the healthcare setting have been faced with resistance and subsequent staffing shortages. As HCWs display their hesitation to the vaccine, the community loses trust in its efficacy and safety. Speculation on pharmaceutical profiteering has also contributed to vaccine mistrust. As the pandemic continues, the healthcare field must decide on a course of action: adhere to vaccination mandates and cope with decreased staffing, repeal vaccination mandates to recover staff, rely on personal protective equipment (PPE) alone for protection, or do nothing and expect survival through herd immunity. To date, the United States has chosen to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for any healthcare worker employed by Medicare and/or Medicaid-accepting facilities, allowing allergy and religious exemptions. This COVID-19 vaccination mandate for HCWs ethically protects the vulnerable people who HCWs vow to care for. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Article
Network Analysis of Well-Being Dimensions in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Samples of University Students from Poland during the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081334 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
Although numerous studies investigated the predictors of vaccination intention and decision, little is known about the relationship between vaccination and well-being. This study compares the physical and mental health dimensions among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. In a cross-sectional online survey, 706 university students [...] Read more.
Although numerous studies investigated the predictors of vaccination intention and decision, little is known about the relationship between vaccination and well-being. This study compares the physical and mental health dimensions among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. In a cross-sectional online survey, 706 university students from Poland (mean age of 23 years, 76% of women) participated in this study during the fourth pandemic wave (November–December 2021). Standardized questionnaires with a Likert response scale were included in the survey to measure spirituality, exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic, perceived physical health, stress, coronavirus-related PTSD, fear of COVID-19, anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction. Consistent with the fuzzy-trace theory, the unvaccinated sample was younger and scored significantly lower than the vaccinated group in exposure to COVID-19, perceived physical health, stress, coronavirus-related PTSD, fear of COVID-19, and depression, while higher in life satisfaction. The network analysis showed that mental health plays a crucial role in both groups, with the central influence of anxiety and stress on depression and life satisfaction. The message on vaccination to university students should focus on the benefits of vaccination in maintaining the status quo of good health and well-being. Campus prevention programs should primarily aim to reduce anxiety, stress, and negative emotions by teaching students coping strategies, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Factors Associated with Not Receiving a Booster Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine in Peru
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081183 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1014
Abstract
To determine the factors associated with not receiving the booster dose for COVID-19 in Peru, a cross-sectional study by secondary analysis of a University of Maryland and Facebook survey database assessing the global impact of COVID-19 was conducted. Data of Peruvian users of [...] Read more.
To determine the factors associated with not receiving the booster dose for COVID-19 in Peru, a cross-sectional study by secondary analysis of a University of Maryland and Facebook survey database assessing the global impact of COVID-19 was conducted. Data of Peruvian users of this social network over 18 years of age who answered the survey between 13 February 2022 and 14 April 2022 were analyzed. We evaluated the association between sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, and history of COVID-19 with having received a booster dose for COVID-19. Crude (cPR) and adjusted (aPR) prevalence ratios with their respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated. A sample of 20,814 adults, 21.5% of whom reported not receiving the booster dose, was analyzed. People under 75 years of age had a higher prevalence of not having received the booster dose. Likewise, having a university education (aPR = 1.03; 95%CI: 1.02–1.05), secondary, or pre-university education (aPR = 1.07; 95%CI: 1.05–1.09), or having a primary level or less (aPR = 1.11; 95%CI: 1.05–1.18), were associated with a higher prevalence of not receiving the booster, compared to individuals with a postgraduate education. Being employed (aPR = 1.01; 95%CI: 1.00–1.02), having had COVID-19 (aPR = 1.03; 95%CI: 1.01–1.04) and living in a town (aPR = 1.05; 95%CI: 1.02–1.07) or in a rural area (aPR = 1.06; 95%CI: 1.03–1.10), compared to living in the city, had a similar association. On the contrary, the female gender was associated with a lower prevalence of not receiving the booster (aPR = 0.97; 95%CI: 0.96–0.99). Sociodemographic characteristics and a history of having had COVID-19 were associated with the probability of not having received the booster dose for COVID-19 in the Peruvian population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Immune Response after mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination in Lung Transplant Recipients: A 6-Month Follow-Up
Vaccines 2022, 10(7), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10071130 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Background and objective: This prospective cohort study analyzed the immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in lung transplant recipients (LuTRs) compared to healthy controls (HCs) at a 6-month follow-up. Methods: After the first two doses of either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were [...] Read more.
Background and objective: This prospective cohort study analyzed the immune response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in lung transplant recipients (LuTRs) compared to healthy controls (HCs) at a 6-month follow-up. Methods: After the first two doses of either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured in LuTRs (n = 57) and sex- and age-matched HCs (n = 57). Antibody kinetics during a 6-month follow-up and the effect of a third vaccine dose were evaluated. Humoral responses were assessed using the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay. In 16 LuTRs, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses were quantified using IFN-γ ELISpot assays. Results: Seroconversion rates were 94% and 100% after the first and second vaccine dose, respectively, in HCs, while only 19% and 56% of LuTRs developed antibodies. Furthermore, 22 of 24 LuTRs who received the third vaccine dose showed seroconversion (five of seven primary non-responders and 17 of 17 primary responders). A T cell response against SARS-CoV-2-spike S1 and/or S2 was detected in 100% (16/16) of HCs and 50% (8/16) of LuTRs. Conclusions: The data suggest that LuTRs have reduced humoral and cellular immune responses after two doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination when compared to HCs. A third dose may be of substantial benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Forecasted Trends of the New COVID-19 Epidemic Due to the Omicron Variant in Thailand, 2022
Vaccines 2022, 10(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10071024 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Thailand is among many countries severely affected by COVID-19 since the beginning of the global pandemic. Thus, a deliberate planning of health care resource allocation against health care demand in light of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, Omicron, is crucial. This study aims to [...] Read more.
Thailand is among many countries severely affected by COVID-19 since the beginning of the global pandemic. Thus, a deliberate planning of health care resource allocation against health care demand in light of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, Omicron, is crucial. This study aims to forecast the trends in COVID-19 cases and deaths from the Omicron variant in Thailand. We used a compartmental susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered model combined with a system dynamics model. We developed four scenarios with differing values of the reproduction number (R) and vaccination rates. In the most pessimistic scenario (R = 7.5 and base vaccination rate), the number of incident cases reached a peak of 49,523 (95% CI: 20,599 to 99,362) by day 73, and the peak daily deaths grew to 270 by day 50. The predicted cumulative cases and deaths at the end of the wave were approximately 3.7 million and 22,000, respectively. In the most optimistic assumption (R = 4.5 and speedy vaccination rate), the peak incident cases was about one third the cases in the pessimistic assumption (15,650, 95% CI: 12,688 to 17,603). In the coming months, Thailand may face a new wave of the COVID-19 epidemic due to the Omicron variant. The case toll due to the Omicron wave is likely to outnumber the earlier Delta wave, but the death toll is proportionately lower. Vaccination campaigns for the booster dose should be expedited to prevent severe illnesses and deaths in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines: Evidence from the First-Year Rollout of Vaccination Programs
Vaccines 2022, 10(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10030409 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of new realities, sets of data, and opportunities for data-driven approaches, decisions, and conclusions. One particular area for which developments and data have been made available in record time is related to vaccines and their impacts [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of new realities, sets of data, and opportunities for data-driven approaches, decisions, and conclusions. One particular area for which developments and data have been made available in record time is related to vaccines and their impacts on health conditions and saving lives. In this article, we use public domain information to study the prevalence of vaccines in different countries and how they can save lives. We conclude that there are different clusters of countries, for some of which solid statistical models were built, and show that vaccination rates provide significant contributions to saving lives in such countries, with impacts that can be computed by simulations based upon these models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Assessing Inequities in COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out Strategy Programs: A Cross-Country Study Using a Machine Learning Approach
Vaccines 2022, 10(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10020194 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2887
Abstract
After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its spread across the world, countries have adopted containment measures to stop its transmission, limit fatalities, and relieve hospitals from straining and overwhelming conditions imposed by the virus. Many countries implemented social distancing and lockdown [...] Read more.
After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its spread across the world, countries have adopted containment measures to stop its transmission, limit fatalities, and relieve hospitals from straining and overwhelming conditions imposed by the virus. Many countries implemented social distancing and lockdown strategies that negatively impacted their economies and the psychological wellbeing of their citizens, even though they contributed to saving lives. Recently approved and available, COVID-19 vaccines can provide a really viable and sustainable option for controlling the pandemic. However, their uptake represents a global challenge due to vaccine hesitancy and logistic–organizational hurdles that have made its distribution stagnant in several developed countries despite several appeals by the media, policy- and decision-makers, and community leaders. Vaccine distribution is also a concern in developing countries, where there is a scarcity of doses. The objective of the present study was to set up a metric to assess vaccination uptake and identify national socio-economic factors influencing this indicator. We conducted a cross-country study. We first estimated the vaccination uptake rate across countries by fitting a logistic model to reported daily case numbers. Using the uptake rate, we estimated the vaccine roll-out index. Next, we used Random Forest, an “off-the-shelf” machine learning algorithm, to study the association between vaccination uptake rate and socio-economic factors. We found that the mean vaccine roll-out index is 0.016 (standard deviation 0.016), with a range between 0.0001 (Haiti) and 0.0829 (Mongolia). The top four factors associated with the vaccine roll-out index are the median per capita income, human development index, percentage of individuals who have used the internet in the last three months, and health expenditure per capita. The still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the disparity in vaccine adoption across low- and high-income countries, which represents a global public health challenge. We must pave the way for universal access to vaccines and other approved treatments, regardless of demographic structures and underlying health conditions. Income disparity remains, instead, an important cause of vaccine inequity, which restricts the functioning of the global vaccine allocation framework and, thus, the ending of the pandemic. Stronger mechanisms are needed to foster countries’ political willingness to promote vaccine and drug access equity in a globalized society where future pandemics and other global health crises can be anticipated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Comparison of Dental Anxiety While Visiting Dental Clinics before and after Getting Vaccinated in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010115 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Vaccination is critical to control the rate of coronavirus transmission and infectivity. Dental practices are a high-risk area for contracting coronavirus; this fact generates psychological disturbances amongst patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the levels of anxiety of patients while visiting [...] Read more.
Vaccination is critical to control the rate of coronavirus transmission and infectivity. Dental practices are a high-risk area for contracting coronavirus; this fact generates psychological disturbances amongst patients. In this study, we aimed to assess the levels of anxiety of patients while visiting dental practices before and after getting vaccinated. This cross-sectional study was carried out between March and December 2021. An electronic survey was distributed among the vaccinated individuals who visited dental clinics before and after getting vaccinated. The survey consisted of the following four parts: demographic characteristics, questions related to coronavirus, and anxiety scores before and after getting vaccinated. SPSS-25 was used to perform the statistical analysis, where paired t-test was used to compare the anxiety scores, and Mann–Whitney U test to assess the association of gender with anxiety scores. A p-value of ≤0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. A total of 400 vaccinated individuals participated in this study, with a response rate of 88.23%. The majority of the respondents (71.0%) did not test positive for coronavirus. More than half of the participants (54.0%) reported to not be suffering from any coronavirus-related symptoms. About 100 (25.0%) of the individuals stated that dental clinics are an environment in which there is a high risk of contracting coronavirus. In regards to the comparison of the mean MDAS scores of the participants before and after getting vaccinated, a significant difference (p = 0.001) was found. Vaccination has been recommended for all eligible individuals to control the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus. Vaccinations have decreased the dental anxiety of patients while visiting dental clinics. However, the protective measures are still valid and should be followed, regardless of the vaccination status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Assessment of COVID-19 Fear in Five European Countries before Mass Vaccination and Key Predictors among Nurses and Nursing Students
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010098 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Background: Levels of fear have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The absence of a safe and effective vaccine for mass-vaccination deteriorates this situation, which has a significant impact on mental health. This study aimed to assess the feelings of fear among nurses [...] Read more.
Background: Levels of fear have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The absence of a safe and effective vaccine for mass-vaccination deteriorates this situation, which has a significant impact on mental health. This study aimed to assess the feelings of fear among nurses and nursing students in five European countries. Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted in five European countries (Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Spain, and Kosovo) before the start of mass vaccination in Europe. Data collection was conducted in December 2020–January 2021 using an online questionnaire for nursing students and professional nurses. Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) was used for measuring levels of fear. IBM SPSS version 21.0 was used for statistical analysis. Results: The study population included 1135 nurses and 1920 nursing students from Kosovo (n = 1085), Spain (n = 663), Greece (n = 534), Albania (n = 529), and Cyprus (n = 244). According to multivariable analysis, females (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.89–3.15), married (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.24–1.48), nurses (OR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.28–1.45) and those with a chronic disease (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.11–1.62) were more fearful of COVID-19. Conclusions: It is important to decrease fear in the population of nurses who are at the frontlines of the pandemic. The provision of appropriate education and training activities for nurses and students to manage their stress levels is of high importance. Future studies should focus on levels of fear after the administration of several safe and effective vaccines worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Article
The Role of Incentives in Deciding to Receive the Available COVID-19 Vaccine in Israel
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010077 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the Israeli public’s intention to get vaccinated immediately after the COVID-19 vaccine became available, and to determine the role of incentives beyond socio-demographic, health-related and behavioral factors, in predicting this intention. An online survey was conducted among adults [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the Israeli public’s intention to get vaccinated immediately after the COVID-19 vaccine became available, and to determine the role of incentives beyond socio-demographic, health-related and behavioral factors, in predicting this intention. An online survey was conducted among adults in Israel (n = 461), immediately after the first COVID-19 vaccine became available (22 December 2020 to 10 January 2021). Two regressions were performed to investigate determinants of intention to receive the available COVID-19 vaccine and sense of urgency to receive the vaccine. Although many adults were willing to receive available COVID-19 vaccine, only 65% were willing to immediately receive the vaccine, 17% preferred to wait 3 months and 18% preferred to wait a year. The sense of urgency to get vaccinated differed by age, periphery level, perceived barriers, cues to action and availability. Incentives such as monetary rewards or the green pass did not increase the probability of getting vaccination immediately. Providing data on the role of incentives in increasing the intention to immediately receive the available COVID-19 vaccine is important for health policy makers and healthcare providers. Our findings underscore the importance of COVID-19 vaccine accessibility. Health policy makers should consider allocating funds for making the vaccine accessible and encourage methods of persuasion, instead of investing funds in monetary incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
Article
The Potential Benefits of the Influenza Vaccination on COVID-19 Mortality Rate—A Retrospective Analysis of Patients in Poland
Vaccines 2022, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10010005 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
In this study, we used publicly available data from the Centrum e-Zdrowia (CeZ) Polish Databank proposing a possible correlation between influenza vaccination and mortality due to COVID-19. We limited our search to the patients with positive COVID‑19 laboratory tests from 1 January 2020 [...] Read more.
In this study, we used publicly available data from the Centrum e-Zdrowia (CeZ) Polish Databank proposing a possible correlation between influenza vaccination and mortality due to COVID-19. We limited our search to the patients with positive COVID‑19 laboratory tests from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2021 and who filled a prescription for any influenza vaccine during the 2019–2020 influenza season. In total, we included 116,277 patients and used a generalized linear model to analyze the data. We found out that patients aged 60+ who received an influenza vaccination have a lower probability of death caused by COVID-19 in comparison to unvaccinated, and the magnitude of this difference grows with age. For people below 60 years old, we did not observe an influence of the vaccination. Our results suggest a potential protective effect of the influenza vaccine on COVID-19 mortality of the elderly. Administration of the influenza vaccine before the influenza season would reduce the burden of increased influenza incidence, the risk of influenza and COVID‑19 coinfection and render the essential medical resources accessible to cope with another wave of COVID-19. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing a correlation between influenza vaccination and the COVID-19 mortality rate in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
Effect of COVID-19 on Anti-S Antibody Response in Healthcare Workers Six Months Post-Vaccination
Vaccines 2021, 9(11), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9111325 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
The current study aimed to determine to what extent prior COVID-19 infection affects the response of specific antibodies following vaccination. The study involved 173 healthcare professionals who completed the two-dose vaccination course with BNT162b2, including 40 who previously experienced clinical COVID-19. The levels [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to determine to what extent prior COVID-19 infection affects the response of specific antibodies following vaccination. The study involved 173 healthcare professionals who completed the two-dose vaccination course with BNT162b2, including 40 who previously experienced clinical COVID-19. The levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1S2 IgG (anti-S) and, in some cases, anti-SARS-CoV-S-RBD IgG (anti-S-RBD) were determined six months after complete vaccination. A level exceeding the cut-off values for both anti-S and anti-S-RBD was observed in 100% of subjects, but after setting the analysis to 5- and 10-fold cut-off levels, the percentage of subjects meeting this criterion was significantly higher for anti-S-RBD. The 100-fold cut-off level was achieved by only 21% and 16% for anti-S and anti-S-RBD, respectively. Anti-S and anti-S-RBD levels above ten times the positive cut-off were respectively observed in 91% and 100% individuals with a history of COVID-19, while among those without COVID-19, these values were 64% and 90%, respectively. Significantly higher incidence of values above 10 and 100 times the cut-off became apparent among people with a history of COVID-19. In conclusion, vaccination against COVID-19 following infection with the disease provides higher levels of specific antibodies 6 months after vaccination than those of individuals without a history of the disease, which supports the use of a booster dose, particularly for those who have not experienced SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Article
A Novel Vaccine Selection Decision-Making Model (VSDMM) for COVID-19
Vaccines 2021, 9(7), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9070718 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
Selecting a vaccine for fighting a pandemic is one of the serious issues in healthcare. Novel decision models for vaccine selection need to be developed. In this study, a novel vaccine selection decision-making model (VSDMM) was proposed and developed, based on the analytic [...] Read more.
Selecting a vaccine for fighting a pandemic is one of the serious issues in healthcare. Novel decision models for vaccine selection need to be developed. In this study, a novel vaccine selection decision-making model (VSDMM) was proposed and developed, based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique, which assesses many alternatives (vaccines) using multi-criteria to support decision making. To feed data to the VSDMM, six coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines were selected in a case study to highlight the applicability of the proposed model. Each vaccine was compared to the others with respect to six criteria and all criteria were compared to calculate the relative weights. The proposed criteria include (1) vaccine availability; (2) vaccine formula; (3) vaccine efficacy; (4) vaccine-related side effects; (5) cost savings, and (6) host-related factors. Using the selected criteria, experts responded to questions and currently available COVID-19 vaccines were ranked according to their weight in the model. A sensitivity analysis was introduced to assess the model robustness and the impacts of changing criteria weights on the results. The VSDMM is flexible in terms of its ability to accept more vaccine alternatives and/or more criteria. It could also be applied to other current or future pandemics/epidemics in the world. In conclusion, this is the first report to propose a VSDMM for selecting the most suitable vaccines in pandemic/epidemic situations or any other situations in which vaccine selection and usage may be deemed necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Review

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Review
The Importance of Vaccination in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Brief Update Regarding the Use of Vaccines
Vaccines 2022, 10(4), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040591 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2972
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has led the world to undertake the largest vaccination campaign in human history. In record time, unprecedented scientific and governmental efforts have resulted in the acquisition of immunizers utilizing different technologies (nucleotide acids, viral vectors, inactivated and protein-based vaccines). Currently, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led the world to undertake the largest vaccination campaign in human history. In record time, unprecedented scientific and governmental efforts have resulted in the acquisition of immunizers utilizing different technologies (nucleotide acids, viral vectors, inactivated and protein-based vaccines). Currently, 33 vaccines have already been approved by regulatory agencies in different countries, and more than 10 billion doses have been administered worldwide. Despite the undeniable impact of vaccination on the control of the pandemic, the recurrent emergence of new variants of interest has raised new challenges. The recent viral mutations precede new outbreaks that rapidly spread at global proportions. In addition, reducing protective efficacy rates have been observed among the main authorized vaccines. Besides these issues, several other crucial issues for the appropriate combatting of the pandemic remain uncertain or under investigation. Particularly noteworthy issues include the use of vaccine-boosting strategies to increase protection; concerns related to the long-term safety of vaccines, child immunization reliability and uncommon adverse events; the persistence of the virus in society; and the transition from a pandemic to an endemic state. In this review, we describe the updated scenario regarding SARS-CoV-2 variants and COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, we outline current discussions covering COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy, and the future pandemic perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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Other

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Brief Report
COVID-19 Vaccination and Mental Health Outcomes among Greek Adults in 2021: Preliminary Evidence
Vaccines 2022, 10(8), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10081371 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
Existing research on the association between COVID-19 vaccination and quantitatively measured mental health outcomes is scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey on a random sample of 1039 adult Greek citizens in June 2021. Among the participants, 39.6% were vaccinated with two doses, [...] Read more.
Existing research on the association between COVID-19 vaccination and quantitatively measured mental health outcomes is scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey on a random sample of 1039 adult Greek citizens in June 2021. Among the participants, 39.6% were vaccinated with two doses, 23.1% with one dose, 21.4% were planning to become vaccinated later, and 8.1% refused vaccination. Compared to those fully vaccinated, those against vaccination (“deniers”) and those who planned to do so later on (“not vaccinated yet”) had significantly higher scores across three stress, anxiety, and depression construct scales. Our findings suggest an association between COVID-19 vaccination status and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Vaccination, Role of Vaccines and Global Health)
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