Who is conducting the study?
The study is being conducted by the iConquerMS research team in collaboration with Dr. Farren Briggs (Case Western Reserve University) and Dr. Farrah Mateen (Massachusetts General Hospital). A steering committee that includes people with MS is guiding and overseeing the study.
What is the purpose of the study?
We want to learn about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with MS. We do not know how many people in the vaccine clinical trials had MS, so data on the experiences of people with MS who have received these vaccines is not yet available.
The current guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for people with MS from organizations, such as the National MS Society, is based on data from the general population in the vaccine clinical trials and data from studies of other vaccines administered to people with MS.
Real-world data from COVER-MS will complement the available guidance and provide additional assurance for those with MS who are planning to get vaccinated.
What will happen in the study? How will people with MS be involved?
All people affected by MS are eligible and welcome to participate. To enroll in the study, people affected by MS are invited to join iConquerMS if they are not already a member. We will ask participants to answer a few surveys on the iConquerMS portal at different timepoints. The surveys ask about:
- Details of the vaccine that was received (e.g., date received and vaccine manufacturer)
- Short-term reactions to the vaccine (e.g., arm soreness)
- MS symptoms (type of symptom and severity) before and after receiving the vaccine
- COVID-19 infection (for anyone who becomes infected with COVID-19 after vaccination)
- Demographics (e.g., date of birth, race, ethnicity)
- MS characteristics (e.g., MS subtype, MS therapies)
Each survey is short and requires only a few minutes to complete.
A subset of COVER-MS participants will also be invited to donate blood samples to help study the immune response to COVID-19 vaccinations.
How could the results benefit people with MS?
We will analyze the information provided by participants to understand the short-term and longer-term effects of the vaccines. We will continue to analyze the data over time as more people become vaccinated and as new vaccines become available.
We will share our findings, and updates to those findings, with study participants and the entire iConquerMS community, as well as with other individuals and organizations including the National MS Society. Results will be posted on the iConquerMS website where it will be available to the public. Currently there are no known issues regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in people with MS, but if we find that there is an issue regarding safety or effectiveness of one or more of the vaccines, we will work to alert people with MS and their healthcare providers about the issue.
Who is funding the COVER-MS Project?
The project is being funded by the National MS Society.
How can someone participate in COVER-MS?