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This study examined the association between serious mental illness diagnoses and COVID-19 vaccination among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients. The sample (N=4,890,693) comprised veterans ages ≥18 years with VHA outpatient visits from March 1, 2018, through February 29, 2020. Veterans with serious mental illness were identified with ICD-10 diagnostic codes from electronic health records of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Receipt of a VHA COVID-19 vaccine from December 1, 2020, through June 1, 2021, was documented by using procedure codes. Treatment effects estimation with inverse-probability weighting was used to estimate the effects of serious mental illness on COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Patients with serious mental illness and patients without serious mental illness were equally likely to receive a vaccination (48% and 46%, respectively; average effect of serious mental illness=-0.4%, 95% confidence interval=-0.8% to 0.1%). VHA outreach activities have contributed to equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Taona P Haderlein, W Neil Steers, Aram Dobalian. Serious Mental Illness Diagnosis and COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in the Veterans Health Administration. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2022 Aug 01;73(8):918-921

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PMID: 35042373

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