The COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is currently recommended for individuals over the age of 65, those with a weakened immune system, or those that are at high risk of contracting the virus through their daily work. However, just recently the CDC made a change to that list to include those with mental-health conditions that make a person more likely to become severely ill if infected with COVID-19. On October 14, 2021, the CDC added patients with depression, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders on the list of eligible individuals who can recieve the COVID booster shot. About 1 in 5 Americans experience some sort of mental health issue each year according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). The Lancelet Psychiatry also reported a diagnosis of COVID was increased in patients with a history of psychiatric illness. This further supports the need and importance for these group of individuals to receive their booster shot.
The US still averages about 1,400 COVID related deaths a day according to a New York Times tracker, with most of the individuals unvaccinated. Only about 191 million individuals or 57.6% of the overall population are vaccinated, which is much lower than the 70% vaccine rate that is needed to to significantly stop the spread. The CDC has also reported that more people are getting booster shots everyday than primary shots. So far, 15.4 million people have had their booster. With the new subvariant of delta called AY.4.2 is emerging, it is an even more important to get vaccinated and recieve a booster if you are under the recommended patient population.
There are many concerns whether or not the COVID vaccine is deemed effective or safe but plenty of evidence has shown that it does in fact lower transmission and infection rates. To find out more information about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, click here. If you are still hesitant and need more information about the vaccine or about your mental health, talk to your doctor or mental health professional today. It is more important now than ever to get the vaccine to protect yourself and loved ones which contributes to improve the overall well being of your health.