There is no link between vaccination and the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), concludes a new major case-control study of over 200,000 individuals, including more than 12,000 MS patients.
The study findings, published in the journal Neurology, suggest that vaccination is associated with a lower likelihood of being diagnosed with MS within the next five years.
Using German ambulatory claims covering 2005-2017, researchers used logistic regression models to assess the relationship between MS (n=12,262) and vaccinations in the five years before first diagnosis. Participants newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (n=19,296) or psoriasis (n=112,292) and participants with no history of these autoimmune diseases (n=79,185) served as controls.
The odds of MS were lower in participants with a recorded vaccination (odds ratio [OR] 0.870; P
Lower odds were most pronounced for vaccinations against influenza and tick-borne encephalitis.
These effects were consistently observed for different time frames, control cohorts, and definitions of the MS cohort. Effect sizes increased toward the time of first diagnosis.
Whether vaccination is actually a protective effect against MS needs to be addressed by future studies, the study authors said.