Reply To: A few questions? New and scared

GH
December 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm

The influenza vaccine has not been linked to GBS/CIDP, with the exception of one type of flu vaccine in one season several years ago. In that case, the correlation did not appear in all batches for that vaccine. It is an anomaly which has never been explained.

There is no difference in the incidence of GBS and CIDP between those who have been vaccinated for influenza recently and those who have not. That does not mean that it is impossible that the vaccine could be the cause, but it means that the effect, if it exists, is very small. GBS and CIDP tend to develop during flu season, and since many people are vaccinated each year at the start of flu season, some of those who develop GBS or CIDP will have had a recent vaccination, even if there is no causative relation at all. Coincidence is not proof of causation.

In my own case, when I developed CIDP, I had never been vaccinated for influenza and had had no vaccinations for several years prior to becoming ill. Since recovering from CIDP I have been vaccinated twice for influenza without any adverse effects.