COVID-19 Vaccination for People with Epilepsy | Frequently Asked Questions

Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe for me? 

Yes, COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended for anyone over the age of 12. All COVID-19 vaccines that are available in the United States have been proven to be effective in clinical trials, and in the real world.  They offer protection from severe illness by 90 percent or more to fully vaccinated individuals. Some people who have got the COVID-19 vaccines may still develop COVID-19 infection as no vaccine is 100% effective, however, they still protect you from developing severe illness. 

What are the side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccines? 

Approximately 15% reported local arm pain and swelling at the site of the vaccine administration – this resolved in all people. 

Approximately 50% of the people developed fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. These are expected body response to vaccines and shows that your immune system works well. 

A small number of people developed mild-severe allergic reactions. If you have a prior history of allergic reactions to vaccines or allergies generally, you should discuss getting the COVID-19 vaccine with your doctor. 

I’ve heard that J&J vaccine causes seizures and blood clots! Is it a safe vaccine for epilepsy patients? 

In rare cases (only six in total) the J&J vaccines have been associated with blood clots to the brain which has resulted in seizures. However, the FDA has determined J&J to be a very safe vaccine for individuals 18 years and older. If you are a woman younger than 50 years of age, CDC does recommend that you are aware of the risk of blood clots with low platelets. Please discuss with your doctor and check the availability of other vaccines that do not have this risk. 

My seizures are triggered by fever, should I still get the vaccine if fevers are a possible side effect? 

Fevers are a normal response to vaccinations. However, if you have concerns about fever-provoked seizures you should talk to your doctor about getting the vaccination and the risks versus benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination. 

There are a few COVID-19 vaccine brands out there, which one should I get? 

All currently authorized COVId-19 vaccines are recommended by CDC as safe and effective. You should get the one available to you the closest. 

Do I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine? 

No, COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone. 

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