Here is another article I came across on The Lancet, which sheds light upon giving priority to people with severe mental illnesses for COVID vaccination.
Some important observations from the article:
'When people with severe mental illness do reach out to health-care providers, it is often more difficult for them to receive proper care for their physical illnesses. The diagnosis and management of physical diseases in people with severe mental illness are frequently suboptimal because of stigmatisation, discrimination, erroneous beliefs, and negative attitudes associated with severe mental illness. Individuals with severe mental illness can experience cognitive dysfunction or delusions, have symptoms of apathy, avolition, or anhedonia, and, in general, have lower educational attainment and lower health literacy than the general population, As a result, it can be harder for them to find adequate information on COVID-19, to understand the contents and applicability of this information to their personal situation, and to adapt to the continuously changing health safety regulations. From a public health perspective, knowing how SARS-CoV-2 spreads within certain groups is important to estimate the value of vaccinating the individuals in these groups to stop virus transmission. To our knowledge, no research has yet addressed SARS-CoV-2 transmission in people with severe mental illness.'
I would like to bring your attention to the fact that the level of stigmatization that happens with mental illnesses is one major area of concern in general and also a big barrier in delivering essential medical help to somebody who is dealing with it. Many healthcare workers themselves facing several mental health issues due to the overwhelming conditions in hospitals and are barred from receiving the required help considering the current pandemic and the increased load on the healthcare system and again the stigma. I would like to encourage you all to present your views on it.
PERSONAL VIEW| VOLUME 8, ISSUE 5, P444-450, MAY 01, 2021
COVID-19 vaccination for people with severe mental illness: why, what, and how?
Victor Mazereel, MD
Prof Kristof Van Assche, PhD
Johan Detraux, MD
Prof Marc De Hert, MD
Published:February 03, 2021DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30564-2
Published in The Lancet Psychiatry
HIFA profile: Komal Kapoor is a recent graduate from the Christian Medical College, Vellore in BSc degree allied medical science course. Komal is currently a frontline covid health care worker in CMC Vellore. She is a HIFA Catalyst on the HIFA working group on Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19.
komalkapoor16.kk AT gmail.com