Epilepsy and the COVID-19 Vaccine

9th March 2021

With vaccines currently being rolled out to combat COVID-19, many will be wondering whether there are any special considerations that need to be made for those with epilepsy. 

Current Evidence

At present, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that people with epilepsy are at any higher risk of side-effects than anyone else from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Any potential risk of side effects is far outweighed by the much larger risk of infection from COVID-19 itself. As such, we would advise that anyone with epilepsy seriously consider having the vaccine, as we would anyone without epilepsy.  

Special Considerations

Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine could present a higher risk to those with epilepsy, it is still highly advisable to let your vaccine provider know that you have epilepsy, as well as any additional medical information, including: 

  • Allergies
  • Recent fevers or infections 
  • Any medications, including AEDs (especially those that are known to suppress the immune system or anticoagulants)
  • If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding

As with any vaccine, there is the chance that you may experience feverish symptoms. Although this chance is no more than anyone who does not have epilepsy, there is a possibility that it may lower the seizure threshold temporarily. This risk can be minimised by taking antipyretics (paracetamol) for 48 hours after the administration of the vaccine within the recommended dose. Clobazam can also be prescribed to help reduce the risk around the time of vaccination, however, you will need to talk to someone within your care team to arrange. 

After Vaccination

If you have already been vaccinated, it’s important to note that no vaccine currently offers 100% protection and you should continue to wear a mask, adhere to social distancing guidelines and continue preventative measures (e.g. hand washing) to prevent infection. 

Even though you may have increased protection through the vaccine, you will still be able to spread COVID-19 to other people without even knowing that you are carrying it. 

For more information, get in touch

For more information on epilepsy and the COVID-19 vaccine, please get in touch. Call us on 01706 373075 or email admin@nationalepilepsytraining.co.uk