Last edited January 8, 2021.
There are now 2 coronavirus vaccines approved in the US. Both manufacturers are producing them as quickly as they can, and they are gradually becoming available. Both of the vaccines consist of mRNA encapsulated in lipid, basically instructions for the production of the covid spike protein which is essential for cell infection. After injection of the vaccine into the muscle, the mRNA is taken up into the surrounding cells which then make the covid spike protein and stimulate an immune response against it. This protects the recipient from later infection with the corona virus.
The vaccines were tested in about 60,000 subjects to demonstrate that they worked, and have been given to about 2 million people over the last few weeks. Side effects so far have not been concerning. About one in 100,000 people have had a severe allergic response (anaphylaxis), all with quick recovery, and additional people have had less severe allergic symptoms or other side effects.
The experience with vaccine in MS is limited so far. There are no systematic publications yet. I have a few patients who have received the vaccine with no problems. There is no reason to suspect that the vaccine would cause problems for MS patients.
I am recommending that all my patients go ahead and take the vaccine whenever it is available to them. People that are older or that have significant disability from MS should be in one of the earlier groups.
I will update this page as we get more experience with the vaccine in MS.