Is It Safe to Get Vaccines If I Have Multiple Sclerosis?

The short answer from a neurologist

Q: I have MS. Should I still be following a regular vaccination schedule?

A: According to recently updated guidelines released by the American Academy of Neurology, the answer is generally yes.

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Preventing infections through vaccination is an important part of medical care for people with multiple sclerosis. The guidelines recommend that people with MS work with their care team to maintain their regular recommended vaccinations, including yearly flu shots.

However, they should make their doctor aware of what medications they’re using before receiving vaccinations. There is evidence that some vaccines may not work as well when given to someone taking certain immunomodulation medications. In this case, the guidelines recommend getting vaccinated four to six weeks before starting the therapy or waiting until after it’s completed.

Anyone having an MS flare should consult with their doctor before getting vaccinations, as it may be best to hold off to avoid the potential for any complications.

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Talk with your neurologist about any concerns you might have regarding vaccinations or infection.

Neurologist Alexander Rae-Grant, MD, who is a member of the committee that drafted the new guidelines

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