People with epilepsy are a priority to receive COVID vaccine, according to JCVI


The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have announced advice on how COVID-19 vaccines should be distributed across the UK.

They have created nine groups who will be a priority to receive vaccinations against COVID-19.

The advice says that people aged 16-64 with epilepsy should be included in one of these priority groups.

The priority groups can be found below.

Group 1 – Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers.

Group 2 – All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers.

Group 3 – All those aged 75 and over.

Group 4 – All those aged 70 and over. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age).

Group 5 – All those aged 65 and over.

Group 6 – People aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk. People with epilepsy are included in this group.

Group 7 – All those aged 60 and over.

Group 8 – All those aged 55 and over.

Group 9 – All those aged 50 and over.


Professor John Paul Leach, Professor of Clinical Neurology said: “COVID itself does not seem to be a trigger for worsening seizures or onset of epilepsy.

“We are keen that patients continue taking their medicine regularly and ensuring they remain well hydrated and that sleep is as undisturbed as possible.

“We have no reason to believe that the vaccine would be hazardous for patients with epilepsy, and would not expect it would interfere with their medication.”


Welcome news

 Following news today that the first vaccinations against COVID-19 could be administered in Scotland as early as 8 December, Epilepsy Scotland welcome this news.

We are pleased people with epilepsy are considered a priority to receive the highly effective vaccine against COVID-19.

This news particularly welcome following recent research which indicates people with epilepsy are slightly more likely to be admitted to hospital and die from COVID-19.

Ahead of being vaccinated, we urge everyone with epilepsy to strictly follow public health guidance to avoid catching COVID-19. Wear a mask wherever appropriate, wash your hands regularly and socially distance from other people.

For the latest information and advice on COVID-19 in Scotland, please click here.