Reply To: Another vaccine victim added to the long list
According to the GBS/CIDP Foundation Summer 2015 newsletter “…While its true that that the Flu vaccine can raise your GBS risk …”. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website states “… they may develop GBS in the days or weeks after getting a vaccination.”
The US Department of Health and Human Services created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in recognition that, in part, Flu shots can cause GBS and related auto-immune disease.
The CDC helped found the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund to provide compensation for those injured. The program is actively administered by the US Federal Court of Claims.
The studies that are cited about getting GBS from Flu shots deal with the incidence of triggering GBS for the first time. That incidence is very low. However, there are essentially no studies that deal with the incidence of RE-triggering GBS in patients that have already had the disease. I believe the risk of re-triggering GBS is quite a bit higher.
The bottom line is that a flu shot can trigger the immune system into producing antibodies that attack “self”. “Self” usually refers to the insulation surrounding the nerves called Myelin. When Myelin is attacked some of the nerves short out and we experience many weird symptoms. The condition can be responsible for various forms of peripheral or poly neuropathies (PN), including GBS.
My neuro recommended not getting Flu shots post GBS/CIDP. Nobody knows with certainty that a flu shot will or will not trigger a new episode of the disease for them. My feeling is that the Flu is a lesser disease and easier to treat than GBS/CIDP. Getting the flu and being miserable for a few weeks pales in comparison to getting a recurrence of GBS/CIDP.
In my case, the risk of reactivating my CIDP, now in remission, was not warranted to me. I think it is prudent not to take the risk. However, not everyone will feel the same and you must make your own decision.
There are several attorneys that specialize in VICP related claims. Here is one possibility: http://www.vaccine-law.com/default.htm