Essential Tremor and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Two vaccines for COVID-19 are currently being administered across the United States. Questions have come into the IETF office about the safety of the vaccines and whether or not people with essential tremor (ET) should get vaccinated. Dr. Holly Shill, chair of the IETF Medical Advisory Board, and a movement disorder specialist, states, “There is no reason why someone with ET should not have a COVID-19 vaccine.”
So how do the vaccines work? The vaccines provide protection in the event of exposure to COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once injected into our bodies, the vaccines “teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.” The vaccines currently available require two doses for optimal effectiveness.
A number of people with essential tremor who are members of the IETF’s Essential Tremor Awareness Group on Facebook have reported their experience of receiving the vaccine. The only side effect being reported was soreness at the injection site. According to the CDC, other reported side effects have included fever, chills, tiredness and headache. (As with any vaccine, there are a few rare exceptions, so it’s safest to check in with your doctor first).
If you have questions about the availability of the vaccines in your area, contact your state’s health department.
Sage Shares Information on New Drug for ET
Tune into the IETF’s latest “Talking Essential Tremor” podcast to learn about research taking place on Sage 324, an oral investigational drug for ET.
Sage 324 is thought to enhance the activity of GABA receptors in the brain tremor, having the potential to modulate electrical fluctuations and reduce the abnormal movements in essential tremor.
IETF Executive Director Patrick McCartney interviews Helen Colquhoun, VP of Development with Sage, for insight into this research.
Order Your FREE Essential Tremor Awareness Posters
March is National Essential Tremor Awareness (NETA) Month and in preparation, the IETF has reprinted its 2020 awareness posters. These posters are free to anyone in the ET community (limit 5 please).
With the message, “Your Shaking Might Be a Sign of Essential Tremor,” the poster defines ET and gives some overall facts. The posters can be hung in the workplace, local community center, library or other public places. Just complete the online form to receive yours.
Watch your mail for a special NETA Month awareness letter and see our new flip straw water bottle and tote bag with our 2021 slogan, “Let’s Talk About ET.” For a donation to the IETF, you can receive one or both of these items. Or go to our ET Awareness website page to learn more.
March was designated as NETA Month by Congress in 2010 and since that time, the IETF has been creating special campaigns to raise awareness. We invite everyone in the ET community to join us so there will be greater understanding and awareness of this condition that impacts more than 10 million people in the U.S. and millions more worldwide.