Update on transverse myelitis and vaccine development for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19)

We have been following recent news reports that AstraZeneca has confirmed that clinical trials assessing its Oxford University partnered coronavirus vaccine AZD1222 have resumed in the UK, following a green light by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The trial is still on hold in the United States. As we shared in an earlier blog post, we still do not have official confirmation of the diagnosis of transverse myelitis, or details such as whether it is partial or longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis, what the MRI and antibody testing findings are, and what the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) showed. These events continue to be of great importance to our organization and our community. We have been reaching out to experts in our medical professional network and the NIH, and we know they are all asking the same questions we are to understand the safety and efficacy of these vaccine development trials.

For those in our community who would like to learn more about the different types of vaccines being developed and about COVID-19 and rare neuroimmune disorders, Dr. Benjamin Greenberg gave a talk at the 2020 Regional Rare Neuroimmune Disorders Symposium on “COVID-19 and Rare Neuroimmune Disorders.” Please view the complete recording of his talk here.

We will continue to follow the situation and update our community as we learn more.