Last week, my wife and I were back in Bowie, Maryland, for our second shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It was a sunny and warm afternoon after a windy, cold, and wet month. We hoped that was a good omen.
Nina, the same pharmacist who gave us our first shots exactly four weeks ago, was there again, and our jabs went smoothly. But we wondered if there would be any side effects. My wife and I both had sore arms for a day after the first shot, but nothing else. Yet we’d heard stories of people having to spend a day or two in bed after the second.
Nina warned us that she had “every side effect possible,” including fatigue, fever, chills, and body aches, following her second shot. We worried that we would, too.
What about interactions with disease-modifying therapies?
I was particularly concerned about whether my MS and the disease-modifying treatment I’ve used would have an impact. My neurologist told me there are no contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine for people with MS, and the most recent guidance from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said the vaccines “are not likely to trigger an MS relapse or to worsen your chronic MS symptoms.”
The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) added that, “Most DMTs are not expected to affect the responses to the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, though some … may make the vaccines less effective.” The CMSC suggested that people with MS should coordinate the timing of some DMT treatments with the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. That’s not an issue with me since my final Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) treatment was nearly four years ago.
What about those side effects?
Guess what? I had no arm pain or stiffness. At bedtime, I was a little more tired than usual, but we had spent the day loading the car for an upcoming trip to Florida. We also had to unexpectedly take Freddie, our cat, to the vet. I don’t know if those tasks or the vaccine led to my fatigue.
I woke up around 2 a.m. and then again around 4 a.m. feeling a little achy, and I didn’t think I could get out of bed and walk to the bathroom if I had needed to. Luckily, I didn’t, and by the time I did need to get up, I was feeling OK. At about 3:30 in the afternoon the next day, I felt a little spacey. But that’s it.
My wife’s only apparent vaccine reaction was a headache. But nearly 48 hours after receiving the second vaccine shot, her headache is better.
Guess where we are?
We’re now in Florida, on a trip that we had initially planned for last November. We’ve finally slept in the condo we bought a year ago. We feel much more comfortable being around people, but we’re still keeping our distance, wearing masks, washing our hands, and not meeting people indoors, for their sake and our own.
And Freddie is fine. He’s now in Florida, too, and he’s loving it.
You’re invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.
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