ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0082.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19, vaccine/vaccination; stress; anxiety; hesitancy; preparedness; Jordan/Arab
Online: 6 May 2022 (14:06:14 CEST)
Although vaccinating the world is adopted by the WHO to limit COVID-19 transmission, people’s worries about vaccines may suppress their desire for vaccination despite vaccine availability. This study aimed to evaluate the levels of stress and anxiety among 250 Jordanians who received their first vaccine dose at a local community health center. The respondents completed the stress and anxiety subscales of the Depression Anxiety and Stress scale 21 (DASS-21) pre- and post-vaccination. The respondents expressed more moderate-severe levels of stress pre than post vaccination (20.8% and 13.2%, respectively). Meanwhile, 37.2% and 45.2% of the respondents expressed moderate-severe anxiety pre and post vaccination, respectively. Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed that the drop in the level of stress from pre (median (IQR) = 5 (1-8)) to post vaccination (median (IQR) = 3 (1-7)) was statistically significant (z = -3.81, p = 0.001, r = 0.17) while the increase in anxiety was not. Anxiety median significantly dropped among individuals experiencing mild to severe anxiety pre vaccination. Similarly, stress and anxiety significantly increased among individuals expressing normal anxiety pre vaccination (z = -3.57 and -8.24, p values = 0.001, r = 0.16 and 0.37, respectively). Age positively correlated with post vaccination anxiety among respondents with mild pre vaccination anxiety, and it negatively correlated with pre vaccination level of stress in the normal anxiety group. Gender, marital status, respondents’ level of education, and history of COVID-19 infection had no significant correlation with anxiety or stress at either point of measurement. Overcoming their hesitancy to receive COVID-19 vaccine, individuals with normal levels of anxiety experienced a rise in their distress symptoms following immunization. On the contrary, vaccination seemed to desensitize anxious individuals. Policymakers need to formulate a population-specific plan to increase vaccine preparedness and promote psychological well-being over all during the pandemic.