The MS Register asked 3191 people with MS how they felt about COVID-19 vaccinations, and the majority (69%) said they'd definitely have it.
While confidence is high among the community, nearly three quarters (72%) admitted they would benefit from more advice. The most common questions were about:
- whether the vaccine would be effective with their treatment
- the risks of the vaccine causing a relapse or making their MS worse
1 in 3 calls to our MS Helpline is COVID-19 related
As pressure on the NHS grows, we’re hearing from people who can't put their vaccine questions to their MS team.
This growing concern has meant 1 in 3 calls to our free MS Helpline is now COVID-19 related. Callers want to know when they will receive the vaccine and whether the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine is best for their MS.
More information needed to make decisions
Suki Bhadal is a mortgage broker from Coventry who has relapsing MS. Since the pandemic hit she's been experiencing waves of depression and stress-induced vertigo. She's been on fingolimod (Gilenya) for 5 years and wants more information about the COVID-19 vaccine before committing to having it.
She says: “I’m meeting my MS team next month and it’s at the top of my list to ask. But, ultimately, until I know all the facts I will not be railroaded into having it.”
Our Director of Research and External Affairs, Dr Sarah Rawlings, says: “It is really positive most people with MS intend to have the vaccine, but during this incredibly anxious time it’s vital they have all the information they need to help make their decision.”
Ask a neuro your questions about MS and COVID-19 vaccines
We're going live this Monday 1 February at 12.15pm with neurologists Dr Emma Tallantyre and Dr Waqar Rashid to answer your questions on our Facebook page and YouTube.
What do you think about COVID-19 vaccines?
The MS Register is still collecting data about vaccinations and COVID-19.
It's open to everyone with MS in the UK. If you haven’t signed up, please do, it provides essential data to us and to researchers in MS in the UK.
More about the study
Vaccine sub-study results are from the UK MS Register from 07/12/2020 - 19/01/2021. As of 19/1/2021, 3191 people have answered the survey.