Epilepsy and COVID-19 Vaccination

Questions you might be asking if you have epilepsy:

1- Are Those With Epilepsy At Higher Risk Of Side Effects?

There is no evidence that persons with epilepsy are at higher risk of side effects after vaccination. As with any vaccine, some persons may develop a fever which could lower their seizure threshold for the short term, and rarely could result in a break-through seizure. There is no evidence that this vaccination results in worsening of the epilepsy, or brain injury.

2- Should Those With Seizures Triggered By Fever Avoid Getting The COVID Vaccine?

Elevated temperature (fever) is a common side effect after getting a vaccine. Fevers have been reported as a side effect after getting the COVID vaccine, because the immune system is reacting to create immunity in the body. Some people with epilepsy have seizures that are triggered by fever. However, the available data about the risks of COVID and the safety of the COVID vaccines still support vaccination. If you or your loved one have seizures triggered by fever, please talk to your health care provider about: 

  1. The specific benefits and risks of the COVID vaccine for you or your loved one
  2. Recommendations about where you or your loved one receive the vaccine, such as a location where medical staff are available
  3. Seizure Action Plan that includes consideration of rescue therapies

3- Do I Need To Continue To Mask And Social Distance Even After I Get The Vaccine?
It is important to continue to use all tools to stop this pandemic, such as masking, hand washing, and social distancing even after vaccination. Experts need time to learn more about the protection of the COVID vaccination in real-life conditions, and how long that protection will last. In addition, persons who have been vaccinated may still develop infection with the virus but not get sick, so they may still be able to infect others. Wearing a mask and social distancing will help to prevent that spread.

4- Where can I get the vaccine?
Operation Warp Speed and the CDC are working on plans to ensure that all people can access a vaccination and that cost will not be a barrier.. Your Primary Care doctor is likely to either administer or refer you to a local vaccination center. It is likely that there will be several centers in each community where one could be vaccinated.

5- Who is paying for the COVID vaccine?
Vaccination doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no charge. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge an administration fee to give the shot to someone, and would be able to have this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company. For uninsured patients, this fee can be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

We have reviewed and recommend reading this page authored by Dr. Wirrell for the Epilepsy Foundation's epilepsy.com webpage, above Q&As are extracted from that page:


Latest News

The episode featuring Dr. Koubeissi will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET. The episode features Dr. Koubeissi's work to develop a groundbreaking way to treat epilepsy with deep brain stimulation.