—Individuals with schizophrenia are undervaccinated against COVID-19 compared with age- and gender-matched controls in Israel, according to a research letter published online May 18 in World Psychiatry.
Dana Tzur Bitan, Ph.D., from Ariel University in Israel, examined COVID-19 vaccination among a total of 50,240 cases: 25,120 patients with schizophrenia and 25,120 age- and gender-matched controls. Data were obtained from the databases of the Clalit Health Service in Israel.
Bitan found that compared with the control group, the odds of receiving vaccination were significantly lower in the schizophrenia group (odds ratio, 0.80). In the subsample aged 16 to 21 years, there were no significant differences observed. As age increased, the differences between the two groups were more profound: odds ratios, 0.90, 0.83, and 0.61 for the subsamples aged 21 to 40, 40 to 60, and 60 years and older, respectively. For both men and women, the odds of being vaccinated were lower in the schizophrenia group, with a slightly greater gap in vaccination rates seen for men versus women (odds ratios, 0.79 versus 0.82, respectively).
“The lower rates of vaccination among patients with schizophrenia reported in this study should alert public health policy entities to provide better care in the form of easier access to COVID-19 mitigation/prevention efforts for individuals with schizophrenia,” Bitan writes.