DMTs and vaccine response in MS: the evidence to date


An Israeli study recently reported a significantly impaired humoral response to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis receiving certain disease-modifying therapies (DMT) (Achiron et al. Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2021;14:17562864211012835). In that study, protective humoral immunity following administration of the Pfizer vaccine was observed in 100% of patients treated with cladribine, but only 22.7% of those on ocrelizumab and 3.8% of those receiving fingolimod. (See also Few vaccine responders with fingolimod, ocrelizumab, NeuroSens, April 23, 2021.) Read More

SARS-CoV-2 variants – an update


The World Health Organization is now listing four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and seven additional variants of interest (VOI) worldwide ( A VOC is characterized by an increase in transmissibility or virulence, a change in clinical presentation, and/or decreased effectiveness of vaccines or therapeutics. A VOI is a strain that has caused multiple case clusters. Read More

COVID vaccine interchangeability – what is the evidence?


The latest recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is that the second COVID-19 vaccination can be administered with a different vaccine product  (NACI, 1 June 2021). Consequently, people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine can be switched to an mRNA vaccine for the second dose. The recommendation was based on concerns about vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) following first and second vaccinations with viral-vector vaccines. Read More

COVID-19 mortality in MS patients: a systematic review


A systematic review of 87 studies has found that patients with multiple sclerosis have a slightly increased mortality risk from COVID-19, notably those who are older with significant disability and/or comorbidities (Barzegar et al. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2021;8:e1001). Read More