COVID-19 Vaccine – Guidance for MS Patients

Angie Szumlinski Health

Vaccination against COVID-19 is critical for public safety and especially the safety of the most vulnerable among us. People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) are seeking peace of mind from the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. In response, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society convened a group of expert researchers and medical professionals to review the available science and make fact-based recommendations.

The vaccines do not contain live virus and will not cause COVID-19 disease. The vaccines are not likely to trigger an MS relapse or to worsen chronic MS symptoms. The risk of getting COVID-19 far outweighs any risk of having an MS relapse from the vaccine. Continue disease-modifying therapy (DMT) unless advised by the MS healthcare provider to stop or delay it. Remember, stopping some DMTs abruptly can cause a severe increase in disability with new lesions on MRI. Based on data from previous studies of other vaccines and DMTs, getting the COVID-19 vaccine while on any DMT is safe.

The authorization of safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 brings us one step closer to eliminating this pandemic. Get vaccinated when it is available in your community, wear a facemask, social distance, and wash your hands. These are the best ways to slow the spread of the virus and should be continued even if you get vaccinated!

Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, mask up, and stay tuned!