Tagvaccines

To be vaccinated or not?

The following is a preliminary summary of the UK MS Register’s survey to establish how people with MS (pwMS) viewed the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccinations. Importantly, the data shows that despite being quite vocal the anti-vaccine message doesn’t seem to be having the same effect in the UK as it is in other countries. Fewer than 6% of respondents said they would probably or...

#MSCOVID19: yes, have the vaccine

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★ Despite the long blog post that I called CATCH-22 I am still getting numerous emails and questions from patients with MS about whether or not they should have a COVID-19 vaccine. YES, you should have the vaccine when it is offered to you. Clearly, timely access to the vaccine will depend on where you live, how vulnerable you are and the local, regional and...

Don’t “Boris” your treatment!

Many of you have been caught by surprise by the Prime Minister’s latest announcement: London and Southern England moved into the unexplored Tier 4, and no ‘Jingle Mingle’ of households on Christmas. This last-minute and – honestly profane – cancellation of Christmas plans has been a hard nut to crack for many of us. So much the more the prospect of a vaccine is the equivalent of...

Bring back the experts

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★ “I think the people of this country have had enough of experts”, Michael Gove, June 2016. Of the many positive things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic and our response to it is the end of the era of denigrating the expert. Yes, expertise and in particular deep expertise really matters and that applies to the diagnosis and management of multiple...

#MSCOVID19: has coronavirus cancelled the flu season?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★ I think COVID-19 has just cancelled the flu season.  I and many public health officials were very concerned that we were heading for a double-whammy this winter with a second and third surge of COVID-19 and a bad influenzae pandemic superimposed on it. It is looking like this may not happen. In the Southern hemisphere,  including my country South...

#MSCOVID19: coronavirus vaccine linked to MS-like complications

You will have heard by now that AstraZenca has paused its coronavirus vaccine study because of safety concerns. A study subject who received the vaccine developed transverse myelitis and had to be admitted to hospital.  “The woman’s diagnosis has not been confirmed yet, but she is improving and will likely be discharged from the hospital as early as Wednesday”, said Soriot AstraZenca’s CEO...

#ClinicSpeak: vaccinations

In clinic yesterday a patient told me that a vaccine post they read on the blog was very confusing. After reading it they didn’t know what to do. It is important to emphasise that this blog is primarily about MS research and not necessarily about clinical advice. I always tag my clinical posts with the hashtag #ClinicSpeak. In future, I will also colour code them. Will this help?The...

#MSCOVID19 info wars

It is one thing calling for scientists to turbocharge the development of a coronavirus vaccine but quite another to get the population to have the vaccine. The anti-vaxxers are organising rapidly and have started circulating content with false information to achieve their aims. The movie plandemic is one example and is covered in a very good article in the New York Times today.   The primary...

#MSCOVID19 Endemic musings

Fudging the issues or bumbling along is how the public, opposition politicians and the journalists are interpreting the Government’s handling of the exit strategy for the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. I don’t agree. I think the Government has a clear plan, which is being driven primarily by economic considerations.  The primary objective of the lockdown was to protect the NHS and this has...

#MSCOVID19: immunosuppression & vaccine-readiness

It is always a good idea to learn from others. We have stressed that the uneventful recovery from COVID-19 involves two processes. Firstly, an appropriate antiviral response, which is needed to clear the virus and secondly an anti-inflammatory response to prevent the delayed immunological damage to the lung that triggers ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), which is the main cause of death...

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