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Covid vaccines & MS

The MS Trust have just issued this: It's a well considered and thorough look at the potential for vaccines, answering many questions which affect us with MS. It's written by Professor Alasdair Coles from Addenbrookes in Cambridge. He was the Campath/Lemtrada pioneer and is brilliant.

It looks like most of us will be able to take a vaccine. He says that people with MS on immunosuppressive drugs and those with significant disability will be likely to be in the second wave of vaccinations - hopefully before Easter. There are some people who may have different responses to vaccines - some DMDs make vaccines ineffective (he's talking about Ocrevus and Lemtrada - but you need to read the report to see what this means for you if you're on one of these.)

So, good news.


I just googled Tecfidera to see if it is immuno suppressant,

The reply was that it has immuno suppressant qualities.

therefore I'm going to phone my MS nurse because I'd rather have the vaccination than tecfidera.

I'm really worried about my Jack getting covid because his diabetes will give him severe consequences.

Thanks for posting this Sue.

I have MS

I think Tecfidera suppresses your immune system initially (which is expected and is part of the reason it works) by reducing the number of lymphocytes and/or neutrophils. These are the white blood cells which fight viruses and infections respectively. In most people, the white blood cells bounce back within a few months. For some people the lymphocytes especially don't come back to 'normal' levels so they have to stop taking 'Tec. In the main your white blood cells are fine within at the most 6 months. So you aren't immune suppressed.

But the point Professor Cole's was making was that as the vaccines are not 'live', they will be fine for most of us to take.


The MS circular does not mention Tecfidera but only Octrevus and  Lemtrada as Sue says

I’ve recently been diagnosed with MS

Thank you, i saw that early this morning but was not aware how long ago it was first posted, or how fresh the post was...Let us just hope that we are given the best-correct vaccine for our condition-other underlying conditions, and our varying age groups...It will be in the hands of the one holding the needle to have all this information at hand before administering...

I'm all for vaccines in general (I have the flu vaccine each year), but I'm a bit dubious about these.

For instance, the Oxford vaccine (AstraZeneca) has had two cases of Transverse Myelitis after having the vaccination.  And that is with a relatively small test set.

I had transverse myelitis back in 2004 and I'm still suffering now.  I'm extremely reluctant to take anything that might trigger another attack.

Unfortunately, the government seems set on the Oxford vaccine because it only needs basic refrigeration (rather than -20C for the some of the others).

Guess I'll have to wait and see what happens....

I have MS

I agree actually, I know I'm the original poster but I am someone who wants to make certain any vaccine I take is going to be safe and not affect me negatively.

The vaccines do seem to be a bit rushed through (is the government a teensy bit scared of the ramifications of not getting a vaccine?) but ultimately I will take the advice of the doctors who I trust. Professors Coles and Giovanonni, and my own favourite rehab Dr. I don't want any nasty side effects.

As you say, let's see what's on offer, where it's available (mass vax centres?) and it's testing profile.


"Having MS by itself does not mean that you shouldn't take the vaccine. There's no concern that a vaccine will cause MS, trigger a relapse or make your symptoms worse. I would really encourage everyone with MS to look forward to taking this vaccine, unless they're told that they shouldn't have it because of the drugs they're on. There are some disease modifying drugs (DMD) that are used to treat MS which would make some vaccines either unsafe or ineffective.  "


What a load of codswallop. How can they possibly know what effects this vaccine will have with no substantiating evidence, long term trials? Just by saying" is safe...there's no concern" is not scientific or medical evidence whatsoever. This is typical of the junk throw-away responses we've had to deal with for the last 9 months with this completely illegitamate virus hoax, and the lack of any kind of scientific scrutiny that has been given.


I was in complete agreement with you until your last sentence mentioning "virus hoax".


And Trump did win the election.

I know we live in a post truth world and need to be sceptical and sure of the facts, but some people have prejudices and care nothing for the scientific method.

I have MS

What on earth does that ridiculous, pointless statement have to do with Covid vaccines or MS??


A failed attempt to support your earlier statements.

I have MS

Ah. Sometimes sarcasm fails. Now I see your point.

The trouble is that many people are literally claiming just what you posted.