COVID-19 Vaccines and MS

December 11, 2020
A message from MS Focus Senior Medical Advisor Ben Thrower:

As the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The Pfizer vaccine was recommended for approval by the FDA on Dec. 10. The Moderna vaccine will likely be approved in the next week or so. 

Both vaccines are based on a new technology using messenger RNA to have the body produce the COVID spike protein. The human immune system then mounts an immune response to that protein. Are these vaccines safe and recommended for people with MS? The honest answer is probably, but we would love more data. People with MS were not included in the trials for these vaccines. Looking at the safety data for the vaccines, they will likely be safe for the MS community. 

The National MS Society is convening a panel of immunology and virology experts to give us guidance. That report should be available by the end of January 2021. This report, combined with real world experience, will hopefully give the MS community the confirmation we need.

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