National MS Society: COVID-19 Pandemic to Endemic
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recently featured Nancy L. Sicotte, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, in its "Ask an MS Expert" series, discussing how people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can navigate the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sicotte told "Ask an MS Expert" host John Strum that as COVID-19 becomes endemic—a regularly occurring disease—observing precautions such as getting vaccinated and wearing masks will be normal for MS patients.
"I think we’re going to be living with masks for a while, and I think it’s become part of our security blanket. Then boosters, I think, are in our future," said Sicotte, a professor of Neurology and the Women's Guild Distinguished Chair in Neurology.
She added that immunocompromised patients should receive a total of four doses of the vaccine because "you need the first three shots to be fully vaccinated."
Sicotte said that some MS patients could be eligible for Evusheld, a preventive medication for fully vaccinated people who did not mount a robust immune response to the vaccine. "This is an option for people to get that added protection against the virus," she told Strum. "This is an extra shield for our patients so they can go out in the world."
Sicotte hopes these precautions will allow her patients to feel comfortable as COVID-19 becomes part of everyday life. "We're going to have to learn to live with this virus, and we want our patients to have the confidence to start engaging with the world again and starting to get back to a little bit more of a normal life," Sicotte told Strum.