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Are COVID vaccines related to neurologic events?

New research examined the link between COVID-19 vaccines and post-vaccination neurologic events, such as stroke and seizure. The researchers wanted to determine if the vaccines cause these neurologic events, or if they are unrelated.

Anti-vaccine types have been pushing this narrative about the COVID-19 vaccines for quite some time. That’s why this type of research is important in determining whether those narratives have any accuracy.

Like I usually do for my readers, I’m going to examine the paper and try to explain what they found in their research.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

COVID-19 vaccines and neurologic events paper

In a paper to be published in August 2023 (sometimes papers are available before actual publication dates) in Neurology Clinical Practice, Kiran Thakur, MD, of Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and co-authors identified prespecified neurologic conditions in hospitalized individuals within 6 weeks of receipt of a dose of any COVID-19 vaccination between December 11, 2020, and June 22, 2021 (Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, New York).

The researchers took clinical data from electronic medical records in these vaccinated patients to assess contributing risk factors and etiologies for these neurologic conditions. The neurologic conditions included ischemic stroke (a type of stroke caused by a blood clot), encephalopathy (general disorders of the brain), seizures, and intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding into the brain).

Here are the key results:

  • 3,830 individuals were screened from December 2020 through June 2021 for COVID-19 vaccination status and neurologic conditions.
  • 138 had a neurologic differential diagnosis and a COVID vaccine within 6 weeks of hospitalization — 126 of whom received an mRNA vaccine.
  • All 138 cases had at least one risk factor or evidence of a known potential cause of their neurologic event.
  • Metabolic syndrome was the most common cause for vaccinated patients with seizures (53.3%) and encephalopathy (22.7%). High blood pressure was the most significant risk factor for those with ischemic stroke (86.5%) and ICH (30.8%).

The researchers concluded:

We were unable to determine a causal association between the new diagnosed neurologic condition and mRNA or adenovirus COVID-19 vaccination at our site.

All cases in this study were determined to have at least 1 risk factor and/or known etiology accounting for their neurologic syndromes. Our comprehensive clinical review of these cases supports the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.


In other words, the researchers could find no link between COVID-19 vaccines and these neurologic conditions. Pre-existing health issues were linked to neurologic conditions, but not vaccines.

Now, I know some will say, “But the vaccines could have triggered the pre-existing conditions to lead to the neurological issues.” The study did not show that. We know that these pre-existing conditions greatly increase the risk of strokes and seizures. There isn’t evidence that shows that the COVID-19 vaccines lead to these conditions.

The patients with pre-existing issues would develop the neurologic conditions whether or not they received the vaccines.

This is one more piece of evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they are not linked to neurologic conditions.


Michael Simpson

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