The aim of the current study was to investigate the opinions of neurologists and psychiatrists in Iran on the necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with epilepsy (PWE). These data can help policy makers understand the concerns of these healthcare professionals. This was a survey study. On September 1st, 2020 we sent a questionnaire (using Google-forms) to all neurologists and psychiatrists in Iran via WhatsApp. The survey included three general questions (age, sex, and discipline) and six COVID-specific questions. In total, 202 physicians participated in this study (116 neurologists and 86 psychiatrists). Of the participants, 27% believed that PWE are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. The majority (74%) of the participants would confidently recommend COVID-19 vaccine to their patients. However, only 49% of the physicians would recommend such a vaccine to all patients; others would consider it in special populations only. The overwhelming majority (91%) of the participants would recommend COVID-19 vaccine only when a reliable vaccine becomes available. Many physicians would trust a vaccine that is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) (46%) or a vaccine that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA-USA) (34%). Physicians have concerns on the issue of the necessity of (a future) COVID-19 vaccine in PWE. The most important concern is the reliability of a vaccine and in this regard, two health agencies, the WHO and the FDA, are the most trusted organizations to approve a vaccine against COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID; coronavirus; epilepsy; seizure; vaccine.