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University of Basel

21 December 2021

Psychological stress and stress factors in vaccinated and unvaccinated people

Man standing at a window, gazing thoughtfully outside
The pandemic is burdening the vaccinated and unvaccinated in different ways. (Photo: Ethan Sykes, unsplash)

The latest survey in the University of Basel's Swiss Corona Stress Study shows that psychological stress remains high during the pandemic. However, there are significant differences in the stress factors experienced by vaccinated and unvaccinated people, in particular relating to stress caused by coronavirus measures and fear of the health consequences of Covid-19.

The fourth survey (16-28 November 2021) in the Swiss Corona Stress Study led by Professor Dominique de Quervain questioned more than 11,000 people from all over Switzerland (see box). The main results:

  • Vaccinated parents of children between four and 11 years old are much more worried about their children becoming infected than are unvaccinated parents.
  • Of all respondents, 19% have severe depressive symptoms, but there is no correlation with vaccination status.
  • Young people, those who have experienced financial loss and those with a pre-existing mental illness are most heavily affected by severe depressive symptoms.
  • In the youngest age group (14-24 years), academic pressure is the most significant stress factor.

Differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated

Significant differences exist in the factors associated with the subjective experience of stress in those vaccinated (58% of respondents) and those unvaccinated. The biggest differences are found in stress caused by coronavirus measures such as the vaccination certificate requirement. The majority of unvaccinated people find these measures stressful, while the majority of vaccinated people feel relief (figure 1).


Original source (Preprint)

Complete results on the OSF Preprint Server.


Further information

Prof. Dr. Dominique de Quervain, University of Basel, Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences, Tel. +41 61 207 02 37, email: Dominique.dequervain@unibas.ch

Data collection

The results are from a survey period of 16-28 November 2021. During this period, 11,167 individuals from all over Switzerland took part in the anonymous online survey. This form of data collection means that by definition the survey is not representative. However, the sociodemographic attributes of the respondents cover a broad range of the Swiss population. All correlations and comparisons reported are statistically highly significant.

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