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Why you should have a Covid-19 vaccine

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Nicola Swanborough

Why you should have a Covid-19 vaccine

Epilepsy Society’s Medical Director, Professor Ley Sander, has stressed the importance of people with epilepsy receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

There have been isolated cases reported on social media and through calls to our Helpline of people having a seizure following vaccination, but Professor Sander has said that people should not be deterred from having the vaccine.

“People with epilepsy should have the confidence to book their vaccine with their GP or through a vaccination centre, in the knowledge that they are safe to do so,” said Professor Sander.

“The vaccine is undoubtedly the most effective way of protecting yourself and others from the virus. We have heard of a very small number of people experiencing a seizure, possibly as a result of a fever following the vaccination. The risks of a seizure and ill health from the virus itself are, however, far greater.

“We are permanently reviewing this from a clinical perspective, but we do not see reports of post-vaccine seizures.”

Vaccine may not be cause of seizure

Two-thirds of people with epilepsy should have their seizures controlled with medication, although realistically, it is thought that almost 50 per cent  still experience seizures.

“For this group of people who live with seizures, the chances are that they may experience a seizure sometime after vaccination, but the vaccine itself may not have caused it,” said Professor Sander.

“If, however, you are worried that you had a seizure around the time of your vaccine and are concerned that there may be a link, always discuss this with your doctor before having your second dose. This will help to ease any anxieties which in themselves can trigger a seizure.

“It is imperative to look at the evidence and advice that is coming from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They are very clear that the vaccine is safe for people with epilepsy, and I would support this wholeheartedly.”

Yellow Card Scheme

Anyone who experiences side effects from any of the vaccines should report these through the Coronavirus Yellow Card Scheme. This also applies to anyone who has experienced a seizure that they suspect was triggered by the vaccine.