Professor Tom Solomon answers your questions about the COVID-19 vaccination and encephalitis. As always, our host of the Encephalitis Podcast is Dr Ava Easton.

The Encephalitis Podcast is available on 





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(Please note that the Apple and Google downloads should be available later on Friday, Jan 29).

Members of our Scientific Advisory Panel have also put together a statement about Covid-19 vaccinations which can be found here.

1m 30s - Tom, thank you for joining us. You’ve had an unwelcome start to the year, having contracted COVID-19 a few weeks ago. How are you?

3m 49s -  Our first question is from Lucy, one our volunteers. “Please could Professor Solomon explain the process of how the vaccines are made? How they are different from one another and how they are the same? Why the science behind it is not new?

6m 42s - Following on from that, one supporter asks: Can a vaccine be totally safe if it only took one year to be developed?

8m 35s -  Thank you to Tricia for the next question. She asks: Are there any risks to taking the COVID-19 vaccines? Can it cause outcomes such as encephalitis?

9m 21s - What is your perspective on vaccine hesitancy or vaccine confidence as its more commonly called today?

11m 07s - This is from Joanne who tells us: Six years ago, my child nearly died from Acute Necrotising Encephalopathy of Child - non-genetic - from Flu A virus. She's almost 13 years old now and has the flu vaccine every winter. Is the COVID vaccine recommended for her? And if so, which one would be more suitable? Thank you.

12m 0s - I was told by my neurologist to not put anything into my body for two years after encephalitis, so no flu jab. But the GP disagrees. I decided to have flu jab as side effects of influenza can be encephalitis and it’s not worth it. I wonder if this is the same with the COVID-19 vaccine?

13m 35s - People want to know whether you can still get COVID-19 after vaccination or even transmit COVID-19 after vaccination?

16m 37s - Finally in this section we were asked can he give us a takeaway explanation to give to people why they should take the vaccine?

Viral encephalitis

17m 19s - I had viral encephalitis one year ago. I also had COVID-19 after Christmas. My GP has also told me I am not classed as vulnerable and am in group 6, so a moderate risk. However, I'm on epilepsy medication from the infection as encephalitis doesn’t appear on any of their lists! Which vaccine would be the preferred for an encephalitis survivor?

18.15s - We had a similar question from a gentleman who has had Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) encephalitis twice and wonders if his immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine will give him the protection he needs?

18.46s - Another question around HSV encephalitis, this time from Julia in California, who asks: My boyfriend had encephalitis about two months ago and I would like to know if you guys recommend for him to get the vaccine?

21m 04s - I’m 20 years post HSV encephalitis and now 42-years-old. I’ve had the flu vaccination for the last five years with no issue and very happy to take any preventative measure to safeguard my health. I’m chronically fatigued with temporal lobe epilepsy and associated hearing loss. Is there a preference for vaccine type? I’m a frontline worker so due to get a vaccine in next few weeks. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently available here. The mRNA vaccine seems like the logical choice?

Autoimmune encephalitis

22m 51s - I am on immunosuppressants following autoimmune encephalitis in 2016. As a result, am I more susceptible to COVID-19? And would a vaccination against COVID-19 be advisable? If so, should I be a priority? I am currently 64, so am a little way down the list. Thank you.

24m39s - I was just wondering if there was any evidence regarding getting the vaccine and having Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis. Even though I haven’t been on any immunosuppressants for years now, I am concerned about whether the vaccine will fight with my anti-bodies or it be beneficial to me?

25m 37s - The vaccine creates antibodies to keep us safe from catching Covid-19. I have autoimmune encephalitis. If my body incorrectly creates antibodies to attack my brain. Could the same thing happen to me if I take the vaccine?

26m 37s - My son who had limbic encephalitis ten years ago and now - due to the steroids used - is steroid dependant. He is a senior charge nurse and currently shielding. The vaccination centre consultant at Shrewsbury would not administer the first vaccine jab due to the impact it may have on his 'T' Cells. So interested to see the outcome of this.

28m 14s - When someone is getting conflicting advice from their family doctor and their neurologist, what would you recommend that they do?

29m 41s - Is there light at the end of this pandemic tunnel?

Scouse Science Podcast

Professor Tom Solomon is also the host of the Scouse Science Podcast. Find out more