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Willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccinations among clinical psychiatric patients

A. Neven, E. Noordraven, A.E. Bonebakker

Background Psychiatric patients have an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and morbidity and mortality rates are higher. Willingness to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 may be less compared to the general population. Aims To gain more knowledge about the willingness to be vaccinated and about underlying arguments among clinical psychiatric patients. Method We submitted a questionnaire to clinical psychiatric patients, in which we assessed the willingness to be vaccinated and presented a number of statements about vaccination. Results In total, 70 patients were invited to participate in this study of which 56 patients (80%) completed the questionnaires. The willingness to be vaccinated was 63%. Of the 56 patients included, 5 indicated to have had SARS-CoV-2 (9%) and 16 patients (29%) had been vaccinated. Patients who refused vaccination reported being afraid of side effects of the vaccine (28%) and long-term effects of vaccination on their health (25%). Furthermore, patients found it complicated to make a vaccination appointment. Conclusion In this study the willingness to be vaccinated appears to be low. We recommend on the basis of this study that in order to improve the vaccination coverage among psychiatric patients, more attention should be paid to vaccination in the psychiatric wards.