New diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in the setting of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine exposure

J Neuroimmunol. 2022 Jan 15:362:577785. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2021.577785. Epub 2021 Dec 9.


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) with onset in the setting of acute SARS-CoV-2 virus infection has been reported, and reactivation of MS following non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccination has been noted, but there have only been three reports of newly diagnosed MS following exposure to mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The association cannot be determined to be causal, as latent central nervous system demyelinating disease may unmask itself in the setting of an infection or a systemic inflammatory response. We report a series of 5 cases of newly diagnosed MS following recent exposure to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Latency from vaccination to initial presentation varied. Neurological manifestations and clinical course appeared to be typical for MS including response to high dose steroids in 4 cases and additional need for plasmapheresis in one case.

Conclusion: Acute neurological deficits in the setting of recent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine administration may represent new onset multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccines; Coronavirus; Diagnosis; Multiple sclerosis; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273*
  • Adult
  • BNT162 Vaccine*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273
  • BNT162 Vaccine