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Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2022 May 26;24(3):21m03227. doi: 10.4088/PCC.21m03227.
Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination uptake among individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) is a public health challenge due to various individual level as well as systemic level barriers. The objective of this study was to explore COVID-19 vaccination status among community-dwelling patients with SMI and identify associated factors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients with SMI attending community psychiatry clinics in Northern Kerala from April 21, 2021, to August 3, 2021, using a structured questionnaire. Sociodemographic information and COVID-19-related information, including vaccination status and agreement with COVID-19 vaccination-related statements, were obtained.
Results: Of the 62 respondents, only 27.9% received COVID-19 vaccination. Also, 59.7% of respondents received a recommendation for vaccination from their health care providers. The mean age of the vaccinated group was significantly higher than that of the unvaccinated group (F = 1.3359, P < .001). The rate of vaccination uptake among respondents who were contacted by their health care provider for COVID-19 vaccination was significantly higher (P = .001). Respondents in the vaccinated group perceived the vaccine to be more effective in preventing COVID-19 infection than those in the unvaccinated group (2.06 vs 2.64, P = .031). Also, vaccinated respondents were less in agreement regarding the statement about the risk of COVID-19 vaccine worsening mental illness (4.18 vs 3.67, P = .049). Age and recommendation for vaccination from health care providers were found to be significant predictors of COVID-19 vaccination uptake.
Conclusions: On the basis of the study findings, it is recommended that tailored educational activities regarding the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine along with recommendation by health care providers can significantly improve COVID-19 vaccination uptake among patients with SMI.