Sunday, 29 May, 2022


Coronavirus symptoms: Experts warn about a special kind of fatigue experienced by elderly

Coronavirus symptoms: Experts warn about a special kind of fatigue experienced by elderly

Fatigue or tiredness is one of the common signs of COVID-19 infection. Majority of the people infected with the contagious virus experience fatigue long after the initial recovery. For some, it even stretches to months, irrespective of their gender.

But apart from this physical fatigue, there exists a different type of fatigue which could be, as experts say, a main obstacle behind less interest towards booster shots of COVID. Now scientists have made an addition to the kind of fatigue experienced by elderly people, which is quite different from the one experienced during the infection. It is called vaccine fatigue.

How common is fatigue in older adults

With age, our body undergoes several types of changes. Our metabolism decreases, we lose muscles, our hormone level fluctuates and several other changes take place in our body. These things naturally the elderlies do not feel as energetic and jubilant as they used to before. This condition intensified during the pandemic when people were restricted to their four walls of the house with minimum social contacts.

Vaccine fatigue is different than normal fatigue. When people participate in discussions centering on vaccine efficacy, vaccine equity, to the need for booster shots, the accumulated burden and burnout that are resulted from various calls for action induces “vaccine fatigue”. Vaccine fatigue has been identified in the general public, the parents, and the doctors.

What is vaccine fatigue and how is it affected by it?

As per a review article published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology in March, vaccine fatigue is referred to as "people’s inertia or inaction towards vaccine information or instruction due to perceived burden and burnout." The review work aimed to investigate the antecedents that cause or catalyze people’s vaccine fatigue. It is not a new term and has been referred to in several studies carried out before the COVID era. It is mostly witnessed in people above 50 years says a report. Experts believe that this condition can keep older adults from taking booster shots, increasing the risk of the infection in the future.

The limitation

However, the study's authors also stated that the phenomenon is not properly studied and requires more research to take accurate steps to prevent this condition. The study does not specify all the factors that lead to vaccine fatigue in people. To take any appropriate action more knowledge about the condition is required. According to a study, vaccine fatigue may be rooted in the limitations of vaccine sciences and may be difficult to avoid.

The right approach

Though this condition is quite rife in older adults, leading to a decreasing number of booster shots, getting vaccinated is the best thing one can do to stay safe and protected from infectious diseases. Remember COVID-19 is not yet over, and any carelessness can lead to a spike in the cases globally. So, the best thing to do right now is to get your booster dose as soon as it is available in your country. Vaccination may not provide complete protection, but it reduces the severity of the infection and the risk of hospitalization.                —Times of India