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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Should you get a Tdap vaccine with MS?


Most people with MS use disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). These are medications that dampen the effects of your immune system, helping to lower MS disease activity.

Because DMTs suppress your immune system, people with MS can be more vulnerable to infections. Contracting an infection can also trigger an MS flare. Because of this, vaccination is important for people with MS.

The Tdap vaccine protects against three potentially serious bacterial illnesses:

  • Tetanus (T): Tetanus, or lockjaw, causes painful stiffening of muscles throughout your body.
  • Diphtheria (d): Diphtheria leads to a membrane-like coating in your throat that can interfere with your breathing.
  • Pertussis (aP): Pertussis, which is also called whooping cough, can cause violent coughing fits that make it difficult to do things such as breathe, drink, or eat.

It’s OK to get the Tdap vaccine if you have MS. In fact, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recommends that people with MS follow standard vaccine guidelines unless there’s a specific reason not to (contraindication).

Potential side effects

The side effects of the Tdap vaccine are similar to those of many other vaccines and can include:

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