COVID-19 and MS

Last updated: 22/09/21

Last reviewed: 22/09/21

COVID-19 and MS

These pages contain information about COVID-19, vaccinations and MS as general advice only. The information provided on these pages should not be taken as individual medical advice. Your medical team (neurologist, MS nurse, GP) is still your primary source of contact for any concerns or specific questions you may have about COVID-19, vaccinations and timing of MS treatments and other medicines. For general queries, please contact your state/territory MS organisation, or the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Currently, MS Australia is working with key experts in MS, immunology and virology to assess the need of people with MS for a third dose of vaccine, and/or a booster dose. This is ongoing as new research becomes available. Presently, there is no approval in Australia for any patient group for any additional doses, as the initial roll-out program of two doses continues across the country. It is important to note, that a number of studies have looked at the level of COVID-19 antibodies people with MS produce post vaccine, but this fails to consider the other arms of the immune system which can provide protection against COVID-19. We will keep the MS community updated as new information comes to hand.

To help address specific information you may be seeking about the pandemic and MS, please see the sections below with links to take you directly to your area of interest.

General advice for people with MS, including information on COVID-19, relapses and MS medications

We remain committed to providing the MS community with updated and current information regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations as it becomes available, including regular review of these web pages. However, this area is open to rapid change as new information becomes available and procedures are updated to reflect new data and government recommendations and restrictions.

A comprehensive list of the most common questions people living with MS may have regarding COVID-19 issues is provided here, including information on various MS medications.

Healthdirect Australia has developed a COVID-19 restriction tool to help Australians to easily obtain the information they need to understand current restrictions in their own area and what is limited and allowed. Information is updated multiple times a day from official sources across all states and territories, making it the only national central source of information about restrictions. 

You can find the checker tool here: COVID-19 Restriction Checker Tool.

Vaccination guidance

A group of local neurologists with a special interest in MS through the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN), have together with MS Research Australia, provided COVID-19 vaccination guidance addressing many common questions from people living with MS.

Please click here for vaccination guidance.

Scheduling and recording your vaccination

The initial rollout phases of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia supported people with MS receiving vaccinations early, as part of phase 1b. The vaccine rollout has now been expanded into later phases to include all Australians over 16 years of age. If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccinations, please refer to the information on this link to help guide you in accessing this free service for Australian citizens.

Please click here for more information on how to schedule and record your vaccination.

How Australia contributes to international MS and COVID-19 knowledge

An international MS group, led by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) is gathering information about the pandemic and MS from all over the world. To access the latest information, please click here. This information is regularly updated.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination roll-out remain global health priorities, collecting, sharing and analysing data from all around the world is more important than ever. This data sharing initiative means we will gain faster and more accurate insights into COVID-19 and MS, to help people with MS and their health care teams make evidence-based decisions on how to manage their condition during the pandemic, how to manage the illness if they develop a COVID-19 infection and how to manage the COVID-19 vaccination process.

For more information about how the MS global data sharing initiative works, and how the data is used, please click here.

The unique aspects of MS and specific medications make it difficult to give broad and general advice. If you still have questions that are not answered in these resources, please contact your neurologist, MS health care team or your GP. Together we can build on the extensive information we already have gained through the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to help people and families living with MS to live their best lives possible as we navigate this new world.

 

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