Özgü Kizek, Gizem Yağmur Yalçın2, Tuncay Gündüz, Murat Kürtüncü, Mefküre Eraksoy

Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Istanbul, Türkiye

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, SARS-CoV-2, vaccination, side effects


Objective: Our primary objective in our study was to review the side effect of MS patients vaccinated against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus from Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Multiple Sclerosis and Myelin Diseases Outpatient Clinic. The secondary objective of our research was to evaluate the demographic, clinical characteristics and disease-modifying therapies of patients who have been infected with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and who have been vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sent via text message or e-mail to patients who were followed up at the Multiple Sclerosis and Myelin Diseases Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Neurology of the Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine. The eligibility criteria were not being in the period of an attack and being volunteered to participate in the study. A questionnaire consisting of a total of 21 questions was answered by the patients and the results of 160 patients were evaluated statistically.

Results: One hundred and seven of the 160 patients were women (67%), and 53 (33%) men. The mean age of the patients was 38 ± 10.9 years. As a majority of the patients, 128 of the patients (80%) were followed up with a diagnosis of relapsing remmitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The rate of COVID-19 infection among the patients was 17% (n = 27). 67.5% (n = 108) of the patients preferred the inactive SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, while 31.8% (n = 51) preferred the BNT162B2 (mRNA) vaccine. Pain at the site of vaccination (20%), fatigue (14%), myalgia (18%), headache (5%) and fever (4%) were side effects. When the side effects after the first dose were compared, the frequency of the side effects of mRNA vaccine was found to be significantly higher (71%) (P < 0.0001). Two (1.3%) of the patients after the first dose and 5 (3.8%) after the second dose had an MS attack.

Conclusion: Inactive and mRNA vaccines showed similar side effects with the normal population in patients with MS, and there was no significant difference in the frequency of attacks between vaccines.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study’s compliance with the ethical principles was evaluated by the academic committee of the Department of Neurology of Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine and the Ethics Committee of the institution, and their approval was obtained (no: 24.12.2021/23).

Peer Review

Externally and internally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept: M.E., Ö.K., G.Y.Y., Design: M.E., Ö.K., G.Y.Y., Data Collection or Processing: Ö.K., G.Y.Y., T.G., M.K., M.E., Analysis or Interpretation: Ö.K., G.Y.Y., T.G., M.K., M.E., Literature Search: Ö.K., G.Y.Y., Writing: Ö.K.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study received no financial support.