At this recording, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging with nearly 100 million people affected and over 2.1 million dead. Recently available COVID-19 vaccines are providing some much needed hope. Vaccinations have been extremely effective in saving people from fatal diseases but many people living with multiple sclerosis have questions about whether COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for them. This episode explains the two major COVID-19 vaccines types — mRNA and adenovirus — and what people with should know about them.
This episode also covers different types of vaccines people with multiple sclerosis should avoid and which vaccines are safe. Experts tackle questions like whether vaccines can trigger MS relapses and review specific vaccines such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), chicken pox (varicella), hepatitis B and influenza (flu).
Multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) can suppress the immune system and potentially impact whether a vaccine will be protective or not. Existing info on each MS medication type is discussed. Timing of vaccinations and medication dosing strategies covered. Vaccines as a strategy to prevent or treat multiple sclerosis are explored.
Barry Singer MD, Director of The MS Center for Innovations in Care, interviews:
Anne Cross MD is Professor of Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. John Trotter MS Chair in Neuroimmunology. Her leading work in B cells in multiple sclerosis was recently recognized with the 2019 John Dystel Prize for MS Research.
Amit Bar-Or MD, FRCP is Professor of Neurology at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He serves as Director of the Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurotherapeutics, and Chief of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. He runs a cellular and molecular neuroimmunology lab focused on injury and repair of the human central nervous system.
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