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Getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination with MS

Dan, who lives with MS, talks us through his experience of getting the vaccine.

I arrived just before appointment time and was given an information leaflet and a card which had my personal details on it, including the date of the vaccine and the vaccine type (Pfizer). They told me to keep the card safe and bring it to next vaccine appointment.

After a few minutes wait, I was directed to the desk with the next available GP.

The GP had basic information like my name and address, but I don’t think he had my medical background as he asked me why I was there (in a nice way, as I was younger than others there!). I told him I had MS, and then had an opportunity to ask him any questions about having the vaccine.

Getting the COVID-19 jab

As I’m right-handed, I was given the injection in my upper left arm, into a muscle close to the shoulder. It was short and relatively painless. Having blood tests are probably worse!

After 20 minutes observation (to check for adverse reactions) I was able to leave.

They told me I‘d be contacted for the second dose in around 10 to 12 weeks.

After the vaccination appointment

I had some pain in the injection area, but it wasn’t too bad, just more of a dull ache. I also had a mild headache so I just took some painkillers and drank lots of water. By the second day after the injection the pain in the arm was completely gone and so was the headache.

I didn’t notice any MS-specific side effects. I did have some brain fog the day afterwards, but it’s difficult to tell if this was related to the vaccine.

My 6 top tips for getting your COVID-19 vaccine

  • Get there on time and don’t forget your face mask.
  • Wear something easy to remove to get your arm ready for the vaccination.
  • Make sure you read the information leaflet before you have your vaccination.
    Find links to the leaflets on our information page.
  • Mention you have MS before you have the vaccine.
  • If you have any questions – just ask!
  • But bear in mind the person vaccinating you won’t be an expert in MS. If you have questions about MS or your MS treatments in relation to the vaccine, talk to your own GP, pharmacist or neurologist in advance.

Read the latest information about MS and COVID-19 vaccines