Statement on Epilepsy and the COVID-19 Vaccine
The approval of vaccines for SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has evoked a lot of excitement, but also raised questions about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. Our team and other epilepsy experts believe that these vaccines are safe for individuals with epilepsy, TSC, and other neurological conditions associated with epilepsy.
No study to date has assessed the COVID-19 vaccine in patients with epilepsy or TSC. However, having epilepsy does not increase one’s risk of contracting COVID-19. There are several medical conditions identified by the CDC that may put an individual at higher risk of contracting a severe COVID-19 infection. A severe COVID-19 infection can result in hospitalization and possible death. The CDC does not recognize epilepsy or TSC as one of those medical conditions. However, according to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, comorbidities, such as lung and kidney disease, that can be associated with TSC, may put an individual at higher risk for contracting a severe case COVID-19. Our team recommends getting the vaccine to prevent severe infection and hospitalization.
If you have any questions or concerns please consult your primary care physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the vaccine increase my seizures?
There have been no trials to date that have studied the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on patients with epilepsy. Additionally, it is important to note that an elevated temperature (fever) is one of the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. If you experience seizures that are triggered by a fever you should consult a medical professional. However, The Epilepsy Foundation suggests that “the data on the risks of COVID and safety of the COVID vaccines still support vaccination.”
When and where can I get the vaccine?
Safe, effective and free COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available. Speak with your primary care doctor or visit the Mass General Brigham vaccine information page to learn more.
Can I contract COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No, the vaccines do not contain the live virus. They teach the body how to recognize the SARS-CoV2 virus in our bodies and create an immune response.
Can my child get vaccinated?
Speak with your primary care doctor or visit the Mass General Brigham vaccine information page to check vaccine availability for children.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Mass General Brigham COVID-19 vaccination page.
You can also find useful information at these websites:
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