PURPOSE: People with epilepsy (PWE) are at increased risk of severe COVID-19. Assessing COVID-19 vaccine uptake is therefore important. We compared COVID-19 vaccination uptake for PWE in Wales with a matched control cohort.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective, population, cohort study using linked, anonymised, Welsh electronic health records within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank (Welsh population=3.1 million).We identified PWE in Wales between 1st March 2020 and 31st December 2021 and created a control cohort using exact 5:1 matching (sex, age and socioeconomic status). We recorded 1st, 2nd and booster COVID-19 vaccinations.

RESULTS: There were 25,404 adults with epilepsy (127,020 controls). 23,454 (92.3%) had a first vaccination, 22,826 (89.9%) a second, and 17,797 (70.1%) a booster. Comparative figures for controls were: 112,334 (87.8%), 109,057 (85.2%) and 79,980 (62.4%).PWE had higher vaccination rates in all age, sex and socioeconomic subgroups apart from booster uptake in older subgroups. Vaccination rates were higher in older subgroups, women and less deprived areas for both cohorts. People with intellectual disability and epilepsy had higher vaccination rates when compared with controls with intellectual disability.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccination uptake for PWE in Wales was higher than that for a matched control group.

Cite as

Strafford, H., Lacey, A., Hollinghurst, J., Akbari, A., Watkins, A., Paterson, J., Jennings, D., Lyons, R., Powell, H., Kerr, M., Chin, R. & Pickrell, W. 2023, 'COVID-19 vaccination uptake in people with epilepsy in wales', Seizure - European Journal of Epilepsy, 108, pp. 49-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2023.04.006

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Last updated: 27 October 2023
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