The EAN NeuroCOVID-19 Task Force has published a position paper on COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among people with chronic neurological disorders in the European Journal of Neurology. The paper summarises the current knowledge on the prognosis of COVID-19 among patients with neurologic disease, elucidates potential barriers to vaccination coverage and formulates strategies to overcome vaccination hesitancy.
Health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection are undisputed. Moreover, the ability of vaccination to prevent symptomatic, severe and fatal COVID-19 is recognised, and there is early evidence that vaccination can reduce the chances of long COVID-19. Nonetheless, willingness to get vaccination and booster shots remains subpar among people with neurologic disorders. Vaccine scepticism not only jeopardises collective efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but puts individual lives at risk as some chronic neurologic diseases are associated with a higher risk of an unfavourable COVID-19 course. A survey among the task force members on the phenomenon of vaccination hesitancy among people with neurologic disease supports the lines of argumentation.
The study revealed that people with multiple sclerosis and other nervous system autoimmune disorders are most skeptical of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The prevailing concerns included the chance of worsening the pre-existing neurological condition, vaccination-related adverse events, and drug interaction.
Read the full article here.