Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition where your immune system attacks the protective myelin that coats nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. It can lead to symptoms such as numbness and tingling, muscle weakness, and vision problems.
You may have questions about getting vaccines if you have Multiplesclerosis. It is possible that your medications may make vaccines less effective or that they may make your symptoms worse.
In this article, we discuss whether or not you should get the Tdap vaccine if you have multiplesclerosis, as well as general vaccine recommendations for people with the disease.
Most people with MS use disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). These are medications that dampen the effects of your immune system, helping to lower MS disease activity.
Because DMTs suppress your immune system, people with MS can be more vulnerable to infections. Contracting an infection can also trigger an MS flare. Because of this, vaccination is important for people with MS.
The Tdap vaccine protects against three potentially serious bacterial illnesses:
- Tetanus (T): Tetanus, or lockjaw, causes painful stiffening of muscles throughout your body.
- Diphtheria (d): Diphtheria leads to a membrane-like coating in your throat that can interfere with your breathing.
- Pertussis (aP): Pertussis, which is also called whooping cough, can cause violent coughing fits that make it difficult to do things such as breathe, drink, or eat.
It’s OK to get the Tdap vaccine if you have MS. In fact, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recommends that people with MS follow standard vaccine guidelines unless there’s a specific reason not to (contraindication).
Potential side effects
The side effects of the Tdap vaccine are similar to those of other vaccines.
- Where you received your injection?
- low-grade fever
- There is a throbbing head.
- digestive symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or upset stomach
Will vaccinations increase the risk of an MS flare?
The AAN guidelines say that there’s no evidence that vaccination increases the risk of an MS flare. But they also note that studies in this area are still limited.
It is still important to talk with a doctor or healthcare professional before getting a vaccine. They can look at your medical history and recommend a time frame for getting your vaccine.
As we noted earlier, the AAN guidelines recommend that people with MS follow standard vaccine guidelines unless there’s a specific contraindication.
The chart below shows the current vaccine recommendations for adults in the United States, according to the
|Vaccine||When it’s given||How it’s given||Other details to be aware of|
|Influenza (flu), inactivated or recombinant||all ages||1 dose annually|
|Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)||all ages||The up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine schedule can be found
||messenger RNA vaccines preferred|
|Tdap or tetanus and diphtheria (Td)||all ages||1 dose Tdap, then Tdap or Td booster every 10 years||initial Tdap dose often given in childhood|
|Measles mumps rubella||ages 19–65 years||1 or 2 doses||often given in childhood|
|Varicella (chickenpox)||all ages||2 doses||often given in childhood|
|Shingles||ages 50 years and older||2 doses|
|Human papillomavirus||ages 19–26 years||2 or 3 doses||often given in adolescence, but can be given to those ages 27 to 45 after consulting with a doctor|
|Hepatitis B||ages 19–59 years||2 or 3 doses||often given in childhood|
|Pneumococcal vaccine||ages 65 years and older||1 or 2 doses||either 1 dose 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) followed by 23-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or 1 dose PCV20|
|Hepatitis A||all ages||2 or 3 doses||recommended for travel to areas where hepatitis A is common|
|Meningococcal vaccine||all ages||1 or 2 doses||recommended for travel to areas where meningococcal disease is common|
It is important to know your medications when scheduling your vaccinations. People with Multiplesclerosis using DMTs can have a weakened immune system.
“Live-attenuated vaccines aren’t typically given while you’re on DMTs Live vaccines can cause problems for people with weak immune systems because they contain weakened germ.”
Live-attenuated vaccines include:
- Measles, mumps, and Rube Goldberg vaccine.
- The vaccine for varicella.
- The vaccine is for the flu.
- The vaccine for yellow fever.
- The vaccine for smallpox.
Additionally, some DMTs may
“Let’s look at the answers to some remaining questions about vaccines and the Multiplesclerosis.”
Should you delay getting a vaccine if you’re having an MS flare?
You should wait to get your vaccine until your symptoms are gone or you are no longer getting worse.
Which COVID-19 vaccine is best if you have MS?
This recommendation was made after a
mRNA vaccines are those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Are there any vaccines linked to MS?
In fact, some vaccines may have a protective effect against MS. A
The Tdap vaccine protects against three different types of infections. People with multiplesclerosis can receive the vaccine.
People with Multiplesclerosis are more vulnerable to infections because of the weakened immune system that DMTs can cause. Infections are a potential cause of flares.
The AAN recommends that people with MS stick to a standard vaccine schedule.
You should consult with a doctor before scheduling vaccine appointments. They can review your medical history and your medications to find out which vaccines are recommended and the best time to get them in.