Mental Health Issues During and After COVID-19 Vaccine Era

Kabita Pandey, Michellie Thurman, Samuel D. Johnson, Arpan Acharya, Morgan Johnston, Elizabeth A. Klug, Omalla A. Olwenyi, Rajesh Rajaiah, Siddappa N. Byrareddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has persisted for more than a year, and post-COVID-19 sequelae of neurological complications, including direct and indirect effects on the central nervous system (CNS), have been recognized. There is a plethora of evidence for neurological, cognitive, and emotional deficits in COVID-19 patients. Acute neurological symptoms like neuroinflammation, cognitive impairment, loss of smell, and brain stroke are common direct effects among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. Work-associated stress, lockdowns, social distancing, and quarantine in response to contain SARS-CoV-2 have also affected the mental health of large populations, regardless of age. Public health emergencies have affected individuals and communities, resulting in emotional reactions and unhealthy behaviors. Although vaccines have been widely distributed and administered among large populations, vaccine hesitancy still exists and may be due to apprehension about vaccine efficacy, preliminary trials, and associated side effects. This review highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the CNS by outlining direct and indirect effects and factors contributing to the decline in people's mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic both during and after vaccine administration. Furthermore, we also discuss reasons for vaccine hesitancy and why some groups of people are deprived of vaccines. Finally, we touched upon the social determinants of mental health and their impact on disadvantaged populations during times of crisis which may help policymakers set up some action plans to mitigate the COVID-19 mental health turmoil during this ongoing pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • mental health
  • social determinants
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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