June 21, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients with Epilepsy: First Experiences in a German Tertiary Epilepsy Center

Abstract, published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Introduction: Due to the high demand for information regarding COVID-19 vaccination in people with epilepsy (PWE), we assessed the symptoms and seizure control of PWE following their COVID-19 vaccination.

Methods: All adult patients who were treated at our center were asked to report on their vaccination status and, if vaccinated, about their experiences following their first COVID-19 vaccination with regard to adverse effects and seizure control.

Results: Fifty-four PWE have already received their first vaccination against COVID-19 (27 female, 20% seizure free, 96<% on anti-seizure medication) and were included in the study. Two-thirds tolerated the vaccines generally either very well or well. Thirty-three percent reported general vaccination adverse effects. The most frequently reported general adverse effects were, in descending order, headache, fatigue and fever, and shivering. With regard to epilepsy-related adverse effects, one patient reported increased seizure frequency one day after the first COVID-19 vaccination was administered, and one reported the occurrence of a new seizure type. None of the patients reported a status epilepticus or aggravation of preexisting adverse effects.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that vaccination against COVID-19 appears to be well tolerated in people with epilepsy, supporting the recommendation of vaccination to people with epilepsy.

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