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AAN Releases Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Position Statement

The American Academy of Neurology is releasing the following updated position statement on COVID-19 vaccination as the delta variant compels us to once again rethink how we keep ourselves, our communities, and our patients safe.

The American Academy of Neurology has responded to the world’s disruption and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing resources and awareness for neurology providers; engaging in efforts to mitigate the long-term health and financial impacts on patients; and publishing research as new data emerge. 

The AAN continues to focus on the health and safety of neurology providers, neurology care teams, and patients. We now know that the vaccines provide increased protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death if breakthrough infections occur and that nearly all mortality as of July 2021 is among the unvaccinated population. 

To that end, on July 30, 2021, the AAN signed onto a joint statement calling for all health care employers to mandate employees be vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unless there are medical reasons, unvaccinated patients should be encouraged by all members of the health care team to get vaccinated to prevent illness, death, long-term effects, and further spread of COVID-19. 

Children with neurologic diseases are among the most vulnerable of populations. For children to safely engage with their families and in their communities, vaccinations for children under the age of 12 are needed. The AAN supports continued efforts to expedite regulatory approvals and deployment of COVID-19 vaccinations for children under the age of 12 once clinical trial data support their use. In addition, it is imperative that those eligible become vaccinated to protect this vulnerable population.

While current evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccines are still effective, booster vaccinations may be needed if immunity wanes over time or does not protect against a new developing variant. When booster vaccinations are approved and available, the AAN will advocate for immediate administration to all eligible recipients, including those with compromised immune systems and health care providers who risk contracting and spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable populations. 

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 36,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.


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