Exploring COVID-19 vaccine uptake, hesitancy, and disease-related beliefs in people with multiple sclerosis

Lisa Bernadette Grech, Anthony Winkel, Ernest Butler, Michelle Allan, Alastair Kwok, Mike Nguyen, Nathan Bain, Daphne Day, Eva Segelov

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are vulnerable to severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection and were prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia from March 2021. Despite this, vaccine hesitancy may hinder optimal vaccination uptake.
Aims: This study explored COVID-19 vaccine uptake, beliefs, and hesitancy in people with MS.
Methods: People with MS receiving MS healthcare management at two Australian health services were invited to participate in an online survey, between September and October 2021. The survey collected sociodemographic and disease-specific characteristics, as well as vaccine status, vaccine hesitancy and beliefs towards COVID-19 vaccination using validated scales: the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Scale, the Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence and Complacency Scale, and the Disease Influenced Vaccine Acceptance Scale-Six. Regression analyses were used.
Results: Of the 281 people with MS (mean age 47.7 [SD 12.8] years; 75.8% females) who participated, 82.9% had received ⩾1 COVID-19 vaccine dose. There were 17.1% who were unvaccinated, of which 51.2% reported they were likely to accept vaccination in future. Younger participants were less likely to be vaccinated (B[SE] 0.05[0.01]), as were those within 1-5 years disease duration (B[SE] -1.17[0.39]), all pConclusions: General and disease-specific COVID-19 vaccine concerns may influence uptake for people with MS. Understanding the reasons for hesitancy and how they correlate with MS disease and treatment interaction concerns may inform tailored education messages at individual and population levels that addresses these concerns, particularly for ongoing booster doses.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberEP0875
Pages (from-to)737
Number of pages1
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number3S
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventCongress of the European-Committee-for-Treatment-and-Research-in-Multiple-Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) 2022 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Oct 202228 Oct 2022
Conference number: 38th

Cite this