COVID-19 vaccination willingness among people with multiple sclerosis

Xinran M. Xiang, Chris Hollen, Qian Yang, Barbara H. Brumbach, Rebecca I. Spain, Lindsey Wooliscroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Hesitancy to receive COVID-19 vaccination is a major public health concern. COVID-19 vaccine willingness and the factors contributing to willingness in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown. We administered an online survey from 1 December 2020 to 7 January 2021 to adults with MS to estimate COVID-19 vaccine willingness among adults with MS. Bivariate analysis with chi-square testing compared categorical variables associated with vaccine willingness. Results: Of 401 respondents, 70.1% were willing to receive an authorized COVID-19 vaccination if it was available to them, 22.7% were unsure, and 7.2% were unwilling. The most frequent concern for those unsure was vaccine safety. Vaccine willingness was associated with increased perceived personal risk of COVID-19 (χ2 = 45.4; p < 0.0001), prior influenza vaccine acceptance (χ2 = 97.6; p < 0.0001), higher educational level (χ2 = 50.2; p < 0.0001), and if respondents discussed or planned to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with their neurologists (χ2 = 64.3; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: While COVID-19 vaccination willingness is high among people with MS, nearly 30% were either unwilling or unsure about being vaccinated. Neurologists should be aware of patient-centered factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine willingness and address COVID-19 vaccine safety concerns in discussions with their vaccine-unsure MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • vaccine acceptance
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine readiness
  • vaccine willingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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