Tips for Vaccinating Multiple Sclerosis Patients

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DALLAS – Vaccinations are beneficial for individuals with multiple sclerosis because they help avoid infections, which in turn lower the risk of relapse.

But while inactive vaccines are considered safe for MS patients, the use of live vaccines such as Varivax, Zostavax, or yellow fever vaccine is more nuanced, especially as more disease-modifying therapies (DMT) become available. There are limited data available about the effect of live vaccines on patients who are on DMTs, and the final decision comes down to the risk-benefit ratio, said, Dr. Patricia K. Coyle, professor of neurology and director of the MS Comprehensive Care Center at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University Medical Center.

In a video interview at a meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Coyle summarizes what’s known so far about vaccines and MS, and provides tips to clinicians.

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