Vaccines prevent infections in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Though recommendations regarding vaccinating patients with MS have been recently published, real-world data regarding vaccines’ planning in patients receiving disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) for MS are missing. Our aim was, therefore, to describe vaccination coverage rates, timing-proposal and safety in real-life vaccinating patients with MS undergoing DMDs before the start of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination campaign. Patients followed at our MS-center were referred to individualized immunization-programs customized to Italian recommendations, patients’ risks, immunity to exanthematic diseases, ongoing DMDs, or therapy-start urgency. Disease-activity stated the need for an essential immunization-cycle, whose core was composed by four vaccines: meningococcal-B, pneumococcal conjugated, Haemophilus influenzae B, and meningococcal-ACWY vaccines. Vaccines were administered prior to the planned DMD-start when possible, inactivated-vaccines >2 weeks and live-vaccines >4 weeks before treatment-start. Patients received a 6-months clinical-/radiological-follow-up after immunization. One-hundred and ninety-five patients were vaccinated between April 2017 and January 2021. 124/195 (63.6%) started a vaccination-program before therapy-start/-switch and 108/124 (87.1%) effectively completed immunization before new therapy-start without any delay. The time needed for immunization-conclusion reached a median of 27 (confidence interval 22) days in 2020. No increase in clinical-/radiological-activity 3-/6-months after immunization was noted. In conclusion, our study confirmed feasibility and safety of a vaccination-protocol in patients with MS whose duration resulted in a median of 27 days.
- Multiple sclerosis
- therapy switch