Should people with severe mental illness be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Int J Biol Sci. 2021 Apr 10;17(6):1443-1445. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.57750. eCollection 2021.


The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has spread throughout the world, affecting many vulnerable populations including patients with severe mental illness (SMI). Recent studies have found that patients with SMI compared to the general population could have a greater risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 due to cognitive impairment, poor awareness of risk, and difficulties in complying with infection control measures. Although some researchers have suggested that patients with SMI should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination to reduce the risk of infection, this issue remains controversial.

Keywords: COVID-19, severe mental illness; vaccination.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Health Priorities*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / complications
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • COVID-19 Vaccines