Stay calm and get vaccinated

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★

We can speculate until the cows come home, but speculation remains guesswork. Until a similar study to the one below on T-cell responses to the COVID-19 vaccine is done in people with MS on different DMTs we can’t be confident that people who don’t seroconvert after the vaccine have adequate or protective anti-SARS-CoV2 spike protein T-cell responses.

However, my message remains the same around vaccinations. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and we don’t have any reason to suspect the vaccines have any effect on your MS in the long term. Apart from transient worsening of symptoms, which are reversible, in response to the flu-like symptoms from the vaccine pwMS seem to be tolerating the vaccine without any problems. The latter is more common in patients with advanced disability and can be managed with prophylactic paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. 

Good things come to communities who are patient. My advice would be to stay calm and #GetVaccinatedASAP

Image from bioRxiv

Painter et al. Rapid induction of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells guides coordinated humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. bioRxiv 2021 doi:

The SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have shown remarkable clinical efficacy, but questions remain about the nature and kinetics of T cell priming. We performed longitudinal antigen-specific T cell analyses in healthy individuals following mRNA vaccination. Vaccination induced rapid near-maximal antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses in all subjects after the first vaccine dose. CD8+ T cell responses developed gradually after the first and second dose and were variable. Vaccine-induced T cells had central memory characteristics and included both Tfh and Th1 subsets, similar to natural infection. Th1 and Tfh responses following the first dose predicted post-boost CD8+ T cell and neutralizing antibody levels, respectively. Integrated analysis of 26 antigen-specific T cell and humoral responses revealed coordinated features of the immune response to vaccination. Lastly, whereas booster vaccination improved CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 naive subjects, the second vaccine dose had little effect on T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 recovered individuals. Thus, longitudinal analysis revealed robust T cell responses to mRNA vaccination and highlighted early induction of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells.

Conflicts of Interest

Preventive Neurology




General Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are those of Professor Giovannoni and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry nor Barts Health NHS Trust.

16 thoughts on “Stay calm and get vaccinated”

  1. I am all for vaccination, and would
    not like to discourage anyone, but I am 15 days post second jab and I have been experiencing symptoms since 6 hours after the jab, the nurses advised ‘I am not alone’ many ppl reporting the same
    I think we still have much to learn about the impact of the vaccine on pwms.

  2. Hi Prof G!
    Please keep the blog going – super useful to a lot of people!
    On T cell response: My wife is on OCR for 4 years and had last infusion in october 20. She got 2 Pfizer shots in March/April but had 0 antibodies in the bloodtest. Got next OCR yesterday…
    Does it make sense to do an Elispot SarsCov t-cell test (cost 200 swiss francs)? if so are there any numbers/levels available that would say that there is a protection? Thank you!

  3. thank you for posting this! And – forgive me for speculating a little – it would seem that, for those of us that have not yet had the opportunity to get a vaccine, timing the moment of your DMT is more important with the first dose than with the second dose of mRNA-vaccines?

  4. Is there a test to determine immune response to the mRNA vaccine? I’m on an ant-CD20 DMT and would like to know what activities I can safely resume. Thank you

  5. RRMS person here and took my first Pfizer shot this morning, probably without any luck while I’m under fingolimod. However, I hope in some T-cell response or something, I have no other solution as I have been living like a prisoner for the past 1+ year. This blog informs me a lot more than my neuro, keep up the good work!

  6. I am on Ocrevus and got my first Moderna jab two days before scheduled infusion. Three weeks after second jab had a Spike B antibody test which was positive. Does this mean I am safely vaccinated (at least for now) or just that I have some unknown degree of protection, but not the 90-95 percent protection:? I have not been able to find this info and so turn to this incredibly helpful blog.

  7. Is there any reason to worry more about the rare thrombosis associated with Astrazeneca if one has circulation problems in a lower limb due to MS?

  8. Hi,
    Can anyone tell me, if anyone knows, how many people in the trials had or have pwms?
    Thanks x

  9. maybe good news for OCR users…6 cycles OCR and no antibody reaction on rmna jabs 5 month after last dose.
    t-cell elispot test result finally in: „significant stimulation of lymphozytes through sars covid 2 antigens“ values: IFng 14.0 SI (
    no clue these values are protective (guess nobody can say) but at least something happened!

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