Reply To: Hospital Pharmacy — GBS and Vaccination: Usually Unrelated
there is a form that is given at walgreens/cvs to sign that informs you of the risks, flu like reaction, pain swelling at site, gbs. you have to sign that you read the sheet and are aware of it. as well we were given the same sort of form at the pediatrician. the pharmaceutical company that makes the menactra vaccine always runs an add starting in about june, right before college kids go back to school stressing the importance of the vaccine regarding college dorm behaviors such as shared glasses, drinking fountains, typical teenage stuff. At the end or the commercial, the very end, a noticeble pause happens and script that coincides with the audio comes up and says the menactra vaccine has been know to cause gbs, gbs is a serious neurological disorder, please discuss this with your doctor.
When that add came out I was so happy that the company itself made a point, a very remarkable, distinct point to make people aware. Ultimately it is the decision of the individual to make a choice. But if they are not aware of the serious side affects, the choice is not informed. I applaud the pharmaceutical company that warns people of gbs with their vaccine.
If they did not feel the possibility for gbs was a risk, they would not put that info so blatantly at the end of the comercial. it was an attention grabber. Obviously litigation is the primary motivation for their warning, but it was a warning none the less.
The guardasil vaccine also has had many problems. There are groups of doctors trying to have the vaccine removed. Doctors always promote vaccines, there has to be some proof that they are privey to that would compel them to go against their peers and risk being chastized.
I somewhat agree with your comment that there is a connection between someones immune system who would get gbs /cidp from a vaccine as well, they might even get gbs from the flu itself. But if we know that the predisposition exists, why purposefully inject a live vaccine, flu or otherwise that has the potential to cause harm. Unfortunately it is a crap shoot, one does not know they have a genetic predisposition until they have suffered the consequences. There has to be some sort of connection between the preparation of the vaccine and the trigger response itself. Obviously those with a predisposition to autoimmune diseases do not get gbscidp every time they have a cold/flu, or the incidence of gbs/cidp would be much higher. But there is some sort of link between reaction to a vaccine and gbs. There would not be a government compensation fund if there was not.
Luckily with ivig vaccines are not an option anyway. I do struggle with vaccines for my older son. There is obviously a genetic predisposition in our family. He ws due for a tetanus booster when he started high school, I had his titers checked and they were ok, so I chose not to vaccinate. Should some type of injury happen, I would re-evaluate at that time. We will not be getting menactra for college. I will use herd protection, as well as the new dorm set up at the college he chose affords the child the opportunity for their own room. (thats the way the entire 1000 room dorm is built, they even have a family room with a fireplace and full kitchen per 12 people!! It wasn’t that way when I went to college!) As well, even before we were afflicted with cidp, I always instilled not to share glasses etc. Meningitis is a risk for any population going into a Mcdonolds and the menactra vaccine has not been around that long and children have made it through college, high school, camp.
BTW ghcidp, what type of engineer are you? My older son will be starting this fall, as a mechanical engineer. The opportunities are astounding for kids going into engineering now in relation to jobs. I pray that it stays that way until he graduates!!