Psychological Distress and Physical Adverse Events of COVID-19 Vaccination among Healthcare Workers in Taiwan

Ahmad Rifai, Wan Ching Wu, Yu Wen Tang, Mei Yun Lu, Pei Jen Chiu, Carol Strong, Chung Ying Lin, Po Lin Chen, Wen Chien Ko, Nai Ying Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic places high pressure on everyone, including healthcare workers (HCWs), thus causing them to experience psychological distress. HCWs have priority in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. However, few studies have identified adverse events (AEs) and psychological distress in the HCWs group. Therefore, we investigated the association between psychological distress and AEs and the determinants of protective behaviors in Taiwanese HCWs. A longitudinal measurement was conducted among HCWs at National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH), Tainan, Taiwan (n = 483, mean age = 37.55 years). All HCWs completed an online questionnaire on psychological distress, COVID-19 vaccination AEs, and protective behaviors. We used generalized estimating equations (GEE) to analyze the correlation between psychological distress and AEs, and used multivariable logistic regressions to explore the predictors of protective behaviors. Depression and distress and anger were significantly associated with various physical AEs (p = 0.045 to p < 0.001). Suicidal thoughts became a significant independent variable of systemic AEs after COVID-19 vaccination (p = 0.014 to p < 0.001). People of older ages or females engaged more in washing their hands, wearing masks, and reducing their presence in crowded places. Suicidal thoughts were related to the occurrence of systemic AEs among HCWs. Doctors performed better at preventive behaviors compared to nurses and other HCWs. HCWs who experienced anxiety and nervousness tended to avoid crowds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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