Coronavirus: Researchers discover new risk factor for vaccine discoveries

Vaccine findings are becoming more common, but the risk of a corona infection despite vaccination is not the same for everyone. Factors such as age play a role here. Now the researchers have discovered another risk factor.

Munich – Despite corona immunization, many people fall ill with Covid-19. The reasons for this are that for many it has been some time since vaccination. The protective effect decreases over time. Furthermore, of course, the number of discoveries increases with a large number of people vaccinated.

A new US study has now found which diseases could be responsible for people falling ill despite vaccination. Researchers have found that vaccinations don’t usually work that well and that the protective effect wears off more quickly, not just in the elderly and those with poor immune systems, such as those with organ transplants or chemotherapy patients. Scientists from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System write that patients with mental illness also appear to have a higher risk of contracting corona despite a vaccination against Covid-19. The scientists published their results in the journal “JAMA”.

Coronavirus: Higher Breakthrough Infections in Mental Illnesses

The researchers analyzed data from 263,697 patients who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Most of these were men over 60. Just over half (51.4%) had been diagnosed with one or more mental illnesses in the past five years. 14.8% had a breakthrough infection with COVID-19. Medical conditions diagnosed included bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders, among others.

The scientists’ analyzes revealed an increased incidence of breakthrough infections in patients with mental illness – and this remained the case when other risk factors such as smoking were eliminated.

Coronavirus: Two outages increase risk

According to the researchers’ assessments, two diagnoses increase the risk in particular: adjustment disorders. This refers to the difficulty in accepting a one-time or ongoing stressful event. And substance use disorders, which are certain behavioral patterns in which people continue to consume substances such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, even though they may suffer from health or mental problems as a result.

The risk of rupture infection is increased most among older people with mental illness. In study participants aged 65 and over, all mental illnesses thus represented an increased risk of vaccine discoveries; in young people, however, only anxiety disorders, adaptation disorders and substance use disorders had a negative impact on this risk.

Coronavirus: Two explanations for the study results

First, the scientists point out that psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have historically been associated with reduced cellular immunity and an attenuated response to vaccines; So it could be that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is simply less effective for them or that vaccine protection wears off more quickly or that immunization protects less well against the new variants.

According to US researchers, anxiety disorders increase the risk of a vaccination breakthrough. (icon image)

© Rolf Poss / imago

On the other hand, from their point of view, the risky behavior associated with some mental illnesses could increase the risk of infection and therefore the risk of breakthrough infections. However, this hypothesis needs to be tested in further studies.

Future research should therefore “identify both immunological and behavioral mechanisms underlying the increased risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection in individuals with psychiatric disorders,” the researchers continue. In this way, those affected could be better informed about their risks in the future and take preventive measures.

Coronavirus: Vaccination still makes sense

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), it is not surprising that vaccine discoveries are becoming more and more common. The reason given by RKI is that more and more people are generally being vaccinated and that Sars-CoV-2 is currently spreading again. This also increases the likelihood of coming into contact with the virus as a fully vaccinated person. Despite further findings, vaccination against Covid-19 makes sense.

Header List Image: © Rolf Poss / Image

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