The COVID-19 Vaccine Question


SSRA Medical Advisory for Superficial Siderosis Patients
December 10, 2020

This advisory is given in reference to the mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

Based on the data I’ve reviewed in the Pfizer filing, it appears that the RNA COVID vaccine they are releasing soon should be safe for siderosis patients. There are side effects, especially after the second shot, including pain, soreness and swelling at the site of the injection, as well as headache and fatigue in more than half of participants. The placebo group also got lots of headaches and fatigue, but the vaccine group got more. Out of 30,000+ participants, there were < 0.1% rare serious events which were largely divided equally between the vaccine and placebo arms. Those serious events were things like appendicitis that siderosis patients are not at risk for. So overall, I would recommend siderosis patients to take the RNA vaccine if they have the opportunity to do so. There is no issue with using the vaccine and Ferriprox at the same time.

Michael Levy, MD PhD, Chief Medical Advisor Superficial Siderosis Research Alliance, Associate Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Neuromyelitis Optica Clinic and Research Laboratory
Research Director, Division of Neuroimmunology & Neuroinfectious Disease. Director Superficial Siderosis Clinic and Research Laboratory,

Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are an improved type of vaccine developed to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many other vaccines inject a weakened or inactivated virus into a persons body. mRNA vaccines DO NOT. A mRNA vaccine will help your body to produce a protein that mimics the virus. This protein now triggers an immune response inside the body to produce antibodies protecting the immunized individual from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Common side effects

At the vaccination site:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness in your vaccination area increases after 24 hours
  • If you are concerned your side effects are not fading after a few days


  • Milder side effects have been reported after the first shot
  • Flu like side effects reported after the second shot may affect your ability to complete daily activities, but they should go away after a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you need two shots in order for them to be effective. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build antibodies after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require two shots may not provide complete protection until 14 days past the second dose.

Protect Yourself And Others

It’s important for everyone to continue practicing safe measures in regards to the pandemic until community spread is brought under control. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​

The Superficial Siderosis Research Alliance reminds all patients to please consult with their personal physician concerning any FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine. Some individuals may have additional underlying conditions they need to take into consideration.

UPDATED: 12-15-2020. Source

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