People with epilepsy are included in priority group 6 of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, Epilepsy Action has confirmed. This comes after the organisation received a number of questions around priority groups for epilepsy, and heard about contradicting information being given by some GPs.
Epilepsy Action stated:
“Epilepsy Action is currently receiving a high number of enquiries about whether people with epilepsy are included as part of priority group 6 of the COVID-19 vaccine programme. We are aware that some people have been told by their GP surgery they are in a lower priority group.
“We are in regular contact with the Department of Health and Social Care on this issue and can confirm that people with epilepsy are included in priority group 6 of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
“As part of these conversations we are calling for better communication to GPs and more clarity to make sure that everyone is aware of the above and that people with epilepsy receive their vaccine.
“There are a number of official resources that clearly state people with epilepsy are included in priority group 6.
“The Green Book – the green book is published by Public Health England and has the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures in the UK. Chapter 14a, page 10, table 3 notes that adults aged 16-65 with with chronic neurological conditions including epilepsy are in priority group 6 for the vaccine. This information is available here.
“Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI): advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination – the JCVI are the group who developed the advice around which groups should be prioritised for the vaccine. Their advice clearly states that people with “chronic neurological disease including epilepsy” should be prioritised for the vaccine as part of priority group 6. This information is available here.
“If you have been told by your GP that you are not in group 6, you may wish to refer them to these documents. It is important to note that people should be contacted directly to arrange a vaccination appointment, you don’t need to contact your GP unless you are advised to. Given the number of people eligible for the vaccine in priority group 5 (over 65s) and priority group 6 (16–64-year-olds with specific underlying health conditions, including epilepsy), it is likely to take some time to contact everyone.
“Epilepsy Action will continue to push for better communication and more clarity around the COVID-19 vaccine for people with epilepsy.