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Takeaways for MS Clinicians on COVID-19 Vaccination: Amit Bar-OR, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA

The chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania emphasized current recommendations, which suggest patients with MS get vaccinated for COVID-19. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“In terms of the current recommendations—and this is endorsed by the National MS Society Task Force that I've had the privilege of being part of—first of all, individuals living with MS ought to be vaccinated for COVID-19.”

The question of COVID-19 vaccination among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) was a topic of conversation at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), October 25-28, where Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA, Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s Distinguished Professor; director, Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurotherapeutics; and chief, Multiple Sclerosis Division, department of neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, gave a presentation on the interaction of the vaccine with disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).

Bar-Or highlighted the current recommendation from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Task Force, which urges patients with MS to get vaccinated regardless of whether they are already on a DMT or about to start a DMT. Bar-Or further noted that getting fully vaccinated prior to starting a DMT is “a good investment for the future,” in order to mount a maximal vaccine response. In this conversation with NeurologyLive, Bar-Or offered details on that recommendation.

In addition to his presentation on vaccinations and DMTs, Bar-Or also gave a lecture on the importance of understanding heterogeneity in terms of perturbation and consequent measuring of immune state. By understanding more about how immune cells interact following a vaccination, experts also hope to be able to better tailor treatment decisions and next steps for patient with MS. 

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.