Tremor Gram – February 2021

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).

Image of NETA 2020 Poster

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.

Categories: Tremor Gram

28 thoughts on “Tremor Gram – February 2021

  1. Group meetings have been very helpful in Roseville, CA. Not meeting since covid outbreak, are missed

  2. I’m not a doctor. However, I do have ET and some underlying conditions for which I am taking several medications for ET including some that are “heavy duty.” The article on ET and COVID-19 briefly mentions checking with a medical professional to make sure it’s safe to add that vaccine to ET medications one may be taking.

    I strongly recommend checking with a neurologist before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

  3. Would like to start a support group in my area. Please send 3 copies of this poster to me.

    Thank you kindly.

  4. The severity of my moderate ET is a function of how tired I am physically and mentally. I notice this because at my age, 93. compared to when I was younger, it takes a lot less time doing yard work or concentrating on writing a novel to wear me out and need a break. Folks living the end game of life are much closer to the edge in about everything. We adapt. I carry my full coffee cup with both hands.

    1. My sympathies. I carry a small coffee in a large cup, but I still drink my beer with both hands. Cheers!

  5. Patrick,
    I sent a message to you from a post from IETF on FB. Please look at my FB page where I posted this tree with shaky leaves but strong roots…I thought this would be a great T-shirt for IETF.

  6. The reason I am sending this note I don’t understand why it only applies to people who live in the USA. I live in Canada so I don’t think it applies to me?

    1. It is still in testing stages, so it is not yet available. We like to keep everyone up-to-date on any research happening in the area of ET treatments.

  7. As I understand the doctor’s article,, Covad vaccines are only necessary for someone who has been diagnosed with Covad.. Being in Canada, you may not be able to answer my question, so I’ll ask other authorities. But my question is still why isn’t rapid testing for Covad available to everyone while we’re waiting for the shots? Something is really wrong here if we’re going to be intimidated into taking Covad vaccine shots before we can participate in our favourite events instead of just being tested for Covad first.

    1. I checked in with Dr. Holly Shill, head of our medical advisory board. She said there “should be no concerns for drug interactions of the typical ET drugs and the COVID-19 vaccine.” And you can always check in with your doctor and the clinic administering the vaccine.

    1. I checked in with Dr. Holly Shill, head of our medical advisory board. She said there “should be no concerns for drug interactions of the typical ET drugs and the COVID-19 vaccine.”

  8. I would love to know about the sage or anything I have had it since 14 now 55 started just hands few years ago head most recently body abd voice at times I Do Not think u should be saying the vaccine is ok Not u or anybody really know much about it many have died or got paralysis or shaking like a seizure type please don’t say it’s ok to take everybody has different effects

    1. The Sage medication is still in clinical trials but we will share more information when there is something new to report. It’s our policy to share new research to keep everyone informed. We have noted in the story about the vaccine, that having ET does not disqualify you from getting the vaccine. In other words, if you have ET, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the vaccine. We’ve had dozens of people posting on our ET Awareness Group page that they have received the vaccine and have not had any issues at all with it. But it’s each individual’s choice as to whether or not they want to get the vaccine. Some want to get it and others don’t.

  9. Thank you for keeping us up to date with everything Essential Tremor. IETF is a wonderful lifeline for ET. It changed my life and gave me hope when there was none. Can’t thank you enough for your hard work.
    All the best,

    1. You are very welcome, Aaron. We are here to support you and everyone who is affected by essential tremor. Remember, you are not alone.

  10. Recently, I read an article about Ultra Sound Treatment for treating ET. Can’t seem to locate it now. I have ET and have had it for several years – somewhat mild but getting a little worse as time goes on (I’m 82). Can you direct me as to where the article can be located? THANKS

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