COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among people with chronic neurological disorders: a position paper.

Rakusa, Martin; Öztürk, Serefnur; Moro, Elena; Helbok, Raimund; Bassetti, Claudio L; Beghi, Ettore; Bereczki, Daniel; Bodini, Benedetta; Di Liberto, Giovanni; Jenkins, Thomas M; Macerollo, Antonella; Maia, Luis F; Martinelli-Boneschi, Filippo; Pisani, Antonio; Priori, Alberto; Sauerbier, Anna; Soffietti, Riccardo; Taba, Pille; von Oertzen, Tim J; Zedde, Marialuisa; ... (2022). COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among people with chronic neurological disorders: a position paper. (In Press). European journal of neurology Wiley 10.1111/ene.15368

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Health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection are undisputed. Moreover, the capability of vaccination to prevent symptomatic, severe and fatal COVID-19 is recognized. There is also early evidence that vaccination can reduce the chance for long COVID-19. Nonetheless, the willingness to get vaccinated and receive booster shots remains subpar among people with neurologic disorders. Vaccine scepticism not only jeopardizes 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 for an unfavorable COVID-19 course.


In this position paper, the NeuroCOVID-19 Task Force of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) summarizes 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. 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.


The EAN NeuroCOVID-19 task force reinforces the key role of neurologists as advocates of COVID-19 vaccination. Neurologists need to argue in the interest of their patients about the overwhelming individual and global benefits of COVID-19 vaccination. Moreover, they need to keep on eye on this vulnerable patient group, their concerns and the emergence of potential safety signals.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Bassetti, Claudio


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








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Date Deposited:

25 Apr 2022 11:37

Last Modified:

25 Apr 2022 11:42

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