Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(6):1443-1445. doi:10.7150/ijbs.57750

Editorial

Should people with severe mental illness be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Yuan Yang, PhD1,2,3#, Wen Li, MD, PhD1,2,3#, Qinge Zhang, MD, PhD4#, Ling Zhang, MD, PhD4#, Teris Cheung, PhD5, Chee H Ng, MBBS, MD6✉, Yu-Tao Xiang, MD, PhD1,2,3✉

1. Unit of Psychiatry, Department of Public Health and Medicinal Administration, & Institute of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macao SAR, China.
2. Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, University of Macau, Macao SAR, China.
3. Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Macau, Macao SAR, China.
4. The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital & the Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
5. School of Nursing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China.
6. Department of Psychiatry, The Melbourne Clinic and St Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Yang Y, Li W, Zhang Q, Zhang L, Cheung T, Ng CH, Xiang YT. Should people with severe mental illness be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination?. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(6):1443-1445. doi:10.7150/ijbs.57750. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p1443.htm

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Abstract

The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has spread throughout the world, affecting many vulnerable populations including patients with severe mental illness (SMI). Recent studies have found that patients with SMI compared to the general population could have a greater risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 due to cognitive impairment, poor awareness of risk, and difficulties in complying with infection control measures. Although some researchers have suggested that patients with SMI should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination to reduce the risk of infection, this issue remains controversial.

Keywords: COVID-19, severe mental illness, vaccination