Reply To: Vaccine at Onset?

December 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

There is no evidence that any vaccine causes GBS, certainly not in the way we normally use the term “cause.” The matter has been studied extensively and continues to be studied and monitored by the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report on a comprehensive study by Kaiser Permanente is available in these forums, along with reports of other studies. These studies show that the incidence of GBS is the same for those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated.

That the incidence is the same does not mean, however, that a vaccination cannot be a factor. It is possible that a vaccine can be a trigger (not a “cause”) in a few cases, but the number of such cases must be exceedingly small or studies would be able to show the connection.

There is one known trigger of GBS: Campylobacter jejuni, a pathogen found in poultry and in the environment. There may be many different infections which can trigger GBS, and a person may be susceptible to only one. Most people, of course, are not susceptible at all. The “cause” of GBS is in your own makeup.

As for the flu vaccine, I had a very serious case of CIDP never having had a flu vacine and having had no vaccines at all for several years before getting the disease. Since recovering, I now get vaccinated for influenza every year, because I know that is better protection for my health than avoiding vaccines.