COVID-19 and MS

These pages contain information about COVID-19, vaccinations and MS as general advice only. The information provided on these pages should not be taken as individual medical advice. Your medical team (neurologist, MS nurse, GP) is still your primary source of contact for any concerns or specific questions you may have about COVID-19, vaccinations and timing of MS treatments and other medicines. For general queries about MS, please contact your state or territory MS Member Organisation, or the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

If you test positive for COVID-19 please contact your medical team for further advice.

Latest Updates

ATAGI has recently published new advice for 2024 on COVID-19 vaccines.


Your primary course of vaccination is the first time you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Most people now only need 1 first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as their primary course. You may need 2 doses if you are at high risk of severe illness.

Talk to your usual healthcare provider to decide how many primary course doses you need. Most Australians have already received their primary course of vaccination.

6 months to 5 years
5 to 18 years
18 years and older
Without risk factors
Not eligible
Not eligible
Recommended a single primary dose
With risk factors*
Eligible for 2 primary doses and eligible for a third primary dose
Eligible for a single primary dose
Recommended a single primary dose
With severe immunocompromise
Recommended 2 primary doses and eligible for a third dose
Recommended 2 primary doses and eligible for a third dose
Recommended 2 primary doses and eligible for a third dose

*Includes those with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness (refer to Australian Immunisation Handbook).


Regular COVID-19 vaccinations (also known as boosters) are the best way to maintain your protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

They are especially important for anyone aged 65 years or older and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

As with all vaccinations, people are encouraged to discuss the vaccine options available to them with their health practitioner. You can also use the booster eligibility tool to determine whether you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Less than 5 years
5 to 17 years
18 to 64 years
65 to 74 years
75 years and older
Without severe immunocompromise
Not recommended
Not recommended
Eligible for a dose every 12 months
Recommended every 12 months and eligible for a dose every 6 months
Recommended every 6 months
With severe immunocompromise
Not recommended
Eligible for a dose every 12 months
Recommended every 12 months and eligible for a dose every 6 months
Recommended every 12 months and eligible for a dose every 6 months
Recommended every 6 months


On 1 March 2024, the eligibility criteria for the two approved COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments, Paxlovid and Lagevrio, were altered in Australia.


If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments if you are:

  • 70 years of age or older, regardless of risk factors and with or without symptoms.
  • 50 years of age or older with two additional risk factors for developing severe disease
  • First Nations people, 30 years of age or older and with one additional risk factor for developing severe disease.

Risk factors include:

  • living in residential aged care
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty (but not limited to living in supported accommodation)
  • neurological conditions like stroke or dementia and demyelinating conditions, for example, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome chronic respiratory conditions including COPD, moderate or severe asthma
  • obesity or diabetes (type I or II requiring medication)
  • heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
  • kidney failure or cirrhosis
  • living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare


people aged 18 years or older

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments if you:

  • have previously been hospitalised from COVID-19 and are re-infected
    are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Conditions include:

  • blood cancer or some red blood cell disorders (thalassemia, sickle cell disease)
    transplant recipient
  • primary or acquired (HIV) immunodeficiency
  • chemotherapy or whole-body radiotherapy in the last 3 months
  • high dose corticosteroids or pulse corticosteroid therapy in the last 3 months
  • immunosuppressive treatments in the last 3 months
  • anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody treatment in the last 12 months
  • cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome
  • congenital heart disease
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty.

See below for more information, including the full list of risk factors

Medicare will now cover a telehealth consultation by a GP for the purpose of prescribing COVID-19 antivirals. This temporary measure will cover a longer consultation by phone to ensure antivirals are safely prescribed by doctors and ensure as many people as possible can access these treatments. Millions of Australians are now eligible to access antivirals on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), but they need to start taking the medication within five days of COVID-19 symptoms.



The TGA has authorised the use of AstraZeneca’s Evusheld™ (tixagevimab and cilgavimab). Evusheld™ is a new COVID-19 protective measure (monoclonal antibodies) designed to prevent COVID-19 infection in vulnerable and immunocompromised individuals who may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination. There may be a small portion of people with MS who fall in to this category. For more information, click here.

As of 27 January 2023, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has recommended that Evusheld not be placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) at this time, however, this might be revised in the future. Access will remain through current schemes.

Watch some specialist MS healthcare workers talk about MS and COVID-19 preventative medications and antiviral treatments – here.

Past ATAGI COVID-19 statements can be accessed here.

The Australian government has released a National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023 which can be accessed here.

Last updated: 13/05/2024
Last reviewed: 13/05/2024

How Australia contributes to international MS and COVID-19 knowledge

An international MS group, led by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) is gathering information about the pandemic and MS from all over the world. To access the latest information, please click here.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination roll-out remain global health priorities, collecting, sharing and analysing data from all around the world is more important than ever. This data sharing initiative means we will gain faster and more accurate insights into COVID-19 and MS, to help people with MS and their healthcare teams make evidence-based decisions on how to manage their condition during the pandemic, how to manage the illness if they develop a COVID-19 infection and how to manage the COVID-19 vaccination process.

For more information about how the MS global data sharing initiative works, and how the data is used, please click here.

The unique aspects of MS and specific medications make it difficult to give broad and general advice. If you still have questions that are not answered in these resources, please contact your neurologist, MS healthcare team or your GP. Together we can build on the extensive information we already have gained through the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to help people and families living with MS to live their best lives possible as we navigate this new world. 

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COVID-19 and MS