There seems to be a great deal of confusion in the minds of many MS patients and their families about a vaccine for MS. Some seem to think of any injectable drug as a vaccine, but this is not a correct concept. All of the medications currently approved by the FDA for chronic (long-term) use in MS are drugs but are not considered to be vaccines, although their use is to prevent periods of ill health. Interferon-beta-lb (Betaseron) and interferon-beta-la (Avonex and Rebif) and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) are injectable drugs but are not vaccines. In contrast, a vaccine, which is generally injected, stimulates the immune system, resulting in antibody formation or a direct effect of lymphocytes against proteins or cells that have specific proteins on their surface. Several vaccines against cells in the immune system have been used in research trials.
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