Case series/case reports (Indigo)
Although the COVID-19 vaccines are currently recommended for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), the fact that they were not specifically tested in people with MS raises uncertainty regarding the safety of the vaccines in this population. The purpose of this study was to report real-life safety data of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of MS patients. An anonymous survey was distributed to 425 MS patients. Participants were asked general demographic and disease-related questions and specific questions regarding the safety profile of the COVID-19 vaccine. 262 of 425 MS patients completed the questionnaire. The median age was 42 years (range 22-79 years); 199 were females (75.9%), and 66 participants (25.2%) had associated comorbidities. 198 participants (75.6%) were treated with disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). 239 participants (91.2% of the responders) received the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine. Of these, 182 (76.1%) were < 55 years old, and 57 (23.9%) were > 55 years old. 136 participants (56.9%; 52.5% of those <55 years of age and 40.3% of those > 55 years; p=0.1517) reported adverse events. 36 participants (15.1%) reported new or worsening neurological symptoms following the vaccination, the most frequent being sensory disturbances (21 participants, 58.3%). Most symptoms occurred within the first 24 hours after vaccination and resolved within three days. 28 participants (77.8%) didn’t require any medication to treat their symptoms. The authors concluded that this survey indicates an overall favorable safety profile of the BNT162b2 vaccine in people with MS. These data should be confirmed in further prospective, large-scale studies.
Lotan I, Wilf-Yarkoni A, Friedman Y, Stiebel-Kalish H, Steiner I, Hellmann MA. Safety of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in Multiple Sclerosis: Early experience from a tertiary MS Center in Israel. Eur J Neurol. 2021 Jul 21. doi: 10.1111/ene.15028.