25th January 2021

Many people in our community have concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and whether complications can arise for people who take immunosuppressants. In response, four neuromuscular experts have confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and are encouraging young people over 16 with DMD to take it as soon as possible. Please read their statement below.

As of yet, approval has not been given for young people under 16 to receive the vaccine. 

Advice from Professor Francesco Muntoni, Professor Ros Quinlivan, Dr Adnan Manzur and Dr Chiara Marini-Bettolo who are four neuromuscular experts leading the paediatric and adult North Star and SMA Reach networks of neuromuscular health professionals:

"We can advise that the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should be fine to receive for those living with a neuromuscular condition including those on immunosuppression treatments. We therefore encourage you to get vaccinated at your earliest opportunity via your GP once available.

"Those on immunosuppression may have a reduced immune response (i.e the vaccine will be less effective) but can still have the vaccine.

"Please make every effort to avoid exposure to COVID-19. If you feel unwell then please seek a PCR-based test from the national testing centres. If this is positive please let your specialist teams know as soon as you can. It is important to remember that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) would not have licenced the vaccine if there were any doubts as to its safety. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance states that it “has reviewed unpublished Phase I/II/III safety and efficacy data for the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine. The vaccine appears to be safe and well-tolerated, and there were no clinically concerning safety observations"."

For more information please contact our team, or else you can consult the Green Book (vaccination information for public health professionals) here.