Skip to Content
All Media
All Media

Butch Alterman Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccination for Individuals with TBI

Categories: Butch Alterman Memorial Webinars, COVID-19 Resources, Living with Brain Injury

In this Butch Alterman Memorial Webinar, BIAA Medical Director Emeritus Dr. Gregory J. O’Shanick discusses the increased risks associated with COVID-19 and brain injury, what you should know about chronic inflammation, and an overview of vaccine safety, efficacy, and common myths. The webinar was recorded February 12, 2021 and refers to vaccines approved for use in the U.S. as of that date.

If you have any additional questions, please review our frequently asked questions below or email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get the vaccine?

The medical leadership of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) wrote an open letter encouraging all individuals with brain injury to get vaccinated in order to avoid additional neuroinflammatory issues and keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe. For immediate questions or concerns, please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

How do I get the vaccine in my state?

Although each state is setting up its own priority sequence for vaccination, individuals with chronic health conditions are generally placed among the higher levels. Many in the medical community recognize brain injury as a chronic condition – see our position paper on Conceptualizing Brain Injury as a Chronic Disease here. Some individuals in our community have had success advocating to receive the vaccine by showing our vaccine statement and open letter to their doctors and/or vaccine administrators in their states. For information about getting the vaccine in your state, click here to find the health department website for your state or territory. 

What should I do if I have a reaction after getting the vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they will likely go away in a few days. For immediate concerns, please contact your physician.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are tracking information through the V-safe app and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Both the V-safe app and VAERS collect information about adverse events (possible side effects or health problems) that occur after vaccination. Download the V-safe app to tell CDC how you’re feeling after getting the COVID-19 vaccine or click here to share your information through the VAERS online.

The content in this webinar is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard in this webinar. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.


Stay connected with the brain injury community!

The Brain Injury Association of America has many educational opportunities, events, and resources that are shared throughout the year. Be sure to stay in the know by joining our mailing list.

Sign up for updates