Hospital Pharmacy — GBS and Vaccination: Usually Unrelated

    • GH
      April 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

      “Guillain-Barré Synrome and Vaccination: Usually Unrelated” by John D. Grabenstein

      This is an article, not a study report, which contains a good summary of the 1976 Swine Flu vaccination controversy. 

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

      A Better Report: CBS 60 Minutes Video: Swine Flu 1976 Propaganda

      This video speaks for itself with all the “Hard Facts” – A Must See!


    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Jethro

    • GH
      April 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      ’60 Minutes’ loves a controversy — they get in and stir the pot.  Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not.  Here is an assessment of the performance of ’60 Minutes’ on medical subjects from the American Council on Science and Health: 

      ’60 Minutes’ on Health: Picks and Pans’ By William M. London    
      Publication Date: January 1, 2000  

    • GH
      April 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      There seems to be an error in the link in the preceding post.

      This one seems to work.

    • April 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      When my mother went to get her flu shot she had to sign a disclaimer that read something to the effect of “I have never had GBS”.

      Now, if the government requires a signed waiver saying you’ve never had GBS before getting a vaccine – what makes anyone think the two aren’t related? Why would you have to sign a waiver saying you’ve never had GBS if the government didn’t think you could get GBS from a vaccine? And also, why would you have to sign that waiver if they didn’t think your GBS would either come back or get worse from the vaccine?

      The government doesn’t always share ALL the info.

      I think there are plenty of people who (used) to post here that did get GBS or CIDP after being vaccinated. My daughter was one of them. She was in the hospital & unable to even feed herself within weeks of a her 1st and only flu shot. Months before she got her 5 year vaccines & within weeks she was complaining of pain in her feet. Coincidence? Maybe. But I’m not ever going to believe a vaccine can’t make a person sick…there is just too much evidence to suggest they can & do.

      For the record, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I do not think the government has secret facilities where they study aliens, I do not believe in zombie day & I do not believe the world is going to end later this year.

      GH – Just wondering – how many hours a week would you say you spend researching vaccine reactions?


    • GH
      April 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      “… how many hours a week would you say you spend researching vaccine reactions?”

      I don’t know. Not that much, considering that I am retired. The first few documents I posted recently were replacements of posts I made some time ago, as they seem to have been lost when I revised my registration recently. The more recent posts were added in the past few days because someone accused me of not doing my homework. I am not sure how many he will think sufficient. It is convenient for me to have these related studies referenced in one place, rather than to look for them every time the subject comes up.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

      I developed GBS 18 days after receiving the flu vaccination. I saw my neurologist during my initial ER visit. After a thorough interview and assessment he strongly felt i had GBS from the flu vaccinations and documented as such. I had the usually testing including spinal tap, MRI and CT scans and was admitted for IVIG therapy. A Infectious Disease MD was consulted and ordered more tests and scans and he concluded there was no other cause for me developing GBS other than the vaccination and he documented as such also. I did not get my GBS from the flu, resp infection or from a pimple on my ass. I got it from the FLU VACCINATION!

    • GH
      April 7, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Emilys_mom, I don’t believe the government requires a signed waiver, although I would have to see the form. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a prior history of GBS as a contraindication for the live influenza vaccine, meaning that it should be administered in that case. For the inactivated influenza vaccine, a history of GBS is only a precaution, meaning that it as a matter of judgement. The footnote explains the reason for the precaution (which see), so persons who might receive it may give informed consent (or not). The CDC advises that it be administeted for persons who are at high risk.

      It may be that some third parties who admininister vaccinations refuse to give it to someone who has a prior history of GBS. If so, that is not a government requirement, merely an excess of caution. That would make good sense if the vaccine were administered by a pharmacy, for example. When there are precautions listed for a vaccine, patients should discuss the matter with their personal physician.

    • GH
      April 7, 2012 at 1:38 am

      Haynes, it may be that you developed GBS from the flu vaccine, but anyone who could get GBS from a flu vaccine would likely get it from influenza itself. That is why the incidence of GBS is the same between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

      So are you saying if i didnt get the vaccination and got the flu, i would have gotten GBS anyways? You surely must be employed by the government or a pharmaceutical company

    • GH
      April 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      No, i am not employed by any government agency or pharmaceutical company. I am retired and not employed by anyone, and have never been employed in any aspect of medicine. I am an engineer.

      It is not possible to say what illnesses a person would have contracted, had their past experiences been different. It is likewise not possible to say with certainty what caused any particular case of GBS or CIDP — there is no test for it — although there is a strong association with infection by campylobacter jejuni, so it is reasonable to infer causality when that pathogen is known to have been present.

      In the case of influenza, the connection is much less clear. There are a few thousand cases of GBS in the US each year, and many millions of doses of influenza vaccine administered each year, so many people who acquire GBS in any given year will have been vaccinated. Some of those cases of GBS will coincide in time with vaccination purely through chance — temporal coincidence is not proof of causality — so studies looking for a link between GBS and vaccination must determine whether the incidence is significantly different than that expected by chance.

      The possibility of a link between influenza, influenza vaccine, and GBS is looked at every year by health agencies in several countries. All studies, with the sole exception of those for the 1976 H1N1 vaccine in certain populations, give similar results: there is no significant difference in incidence of GBS between those who have been vaccinated for influenza and those who have not. If there is a causal relationship between an influenza vaccine and GBS, it is on the order of about one case per million vaccinations over what is expected by chance alone. You don’t have to take my word for this; I have posted links to several studies in this forum.

      So there are two possibilities which must be considered:

      1. There may be no causal relationship at all, as this is consistent with the incidence being the same for those vaccinated and those not vaccinated.

      2. There may be a causal relationship. This requires further explanation of two facts: first, that the vast majority of those vaccinated do not develop GBS; second, that those who are not vaccinated develop GBS at the same rate as those who are.

      Hypothesis two can be explained in this way: A very small segment of the population are susceptible to acquiring GBS from some strains of influenza, for reasons that are not known. Such persons may acquire GBS either from infection from the influenza virus or from a vaccine derived from the virus.

      If you have another explanation which supports hypothesis two, I invite you to state it.

      Despite the statistics, most people who develop GBS within a few weeks of receiving a vaccination will believe the vaccine caused it, whether that is true or not. This is understandable and harmless in itself, however there is a great potential for harm in other people concluding that, because some people (supposedly) have been harmed by a vaccine, therefore they should not be vaccinated or have their children vaccinated. This is an invalid and dangerous conclusion, yet some people reach it. Examples can be found in the older threads on this website. This has led to a decline in childhood vaccination in the US, to a resurgence in childhood diseases which were nearly eradicated by vaccination, such as Pertussis, and increased childhood mortality.

      So to sum up, believe what you like about the cause of your own case — it doesn’t matter — but misinformation about the safety of vaccination generally will get an argument from me.

      Respectfully, GH

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Why do you think The government recently added GBS to the Vaccination Injury Compensation Program?

    • GH
      April 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Haynes, that is a question better directed to the Health Resources and Services Administration.  Here are a couple of links to help you.

      A statement from the HRSA in the Federal Register:

      Institute of Medicine — Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality:

      A document from the HRSA-CDC Task Force on the 2011 IOM Report:

      Quote from the preceding document:

      “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between influenza vaccine and GBS.”

      I am sure there are more documents to be found, but I can’t do everybody else’s homework.  Why don’t you find them and post links? 

      I will say that I support the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and that GBS is certainly a condition which should be considered by the HRSA as a possible adverse effect.  

    • April 8, 2012 at 1:12 am

      GH – I’m just wondering if you realize how upsetting it is to people, who believe they got GBS from a vaccine, when you tell them they are wrong?

      No one can tell me that my 4 year old little girl would have gotten CIDP. 4 year olds aren’t supposed to get CIDP! I know my daughter’s health history & I can assure you, the vaccines played a roll in her disease. I’m sure other people feel the same way about their own illnesses. I’m not saying the vaccines were the only cause but I know they played a major role.

      I’m just saying this so maybe you can figure out a way to post your beliefs about vaccines but be aware of people’s feelings.

      There is info out there coming from both sides of the issue. It’s just the way you search for it & what you choose to read & take away from it.

      The American Medical Association believes there is a link between vaccines & GBS:


    • GH
      April 8, 2012 at 9:03 am


      Your remark is inaccurate.  I do not say people are wrong for believing that their GBS was caused by a vaccine.  If you review the posts above, you will find that I wrote to Haynes that he may be right on that point.  I do not know the cause of GBS or CIDP for anyone, and do not presume to diagnose anyone else’s medical condition or to give medical advice.  All I do on the question of causality is to call attention to the statements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and other similar bodies.  This is consistent with the mission of the Foundation to “heighten awareness and improve the understanding and treatment of GBS, CIDP and variants.”

      It does not matter what the cause of any particular case of GBS actually is, or what anyone believes is the cause, because the treatment and prognosis are the same, and because those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy deserve the same care and sympathy whatever the cause of their ailment.

      That does not mean that differences of opinion should not be expressed, particularly when the facts are misstated, and where this could lead to conclusions which are harmful to others, as this would be contrary to the mission of the Foundation.  It is in the nature of an open forum that differences will arise and be expressed, and people who participate should expect this.  I make an effort to express my differences politely, and if others are “upset” as you say by a mere difference of opinion, then I see it as their problem, due to unreasonable expectations of a public forum.

      Others are not so polite.  In this thread Haynes has accused me of being on someone’s payroll merely for expressing a different point of view.  This is offensive, but I shrug it off as it means nothing when it has no basis in fact.  More offensive, however, is that he has impugned the integrity of the many medical researchers who work on vaccines by implying that they are in it for the money rather than out of a sincere desire to contribute to the betterment of the human condition.  I find it an odd standard that allows many dedicated medical professionals to be maligned indiscriminately while objecting to statements which offend merely for being contrary.

      By the way, the JAMA article to which you linked was linked by me in a recent thread in this forum.  I found it interesting because it offers an explanation for the 1976 anomaly.  The report is the work only of its authors, not the AMA.  In any case, its conclusions are consistent with those of the Institute of Medicine.  I do not draw my own conclusions on this subject — I defer to the IOM.       

    • April 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

      GH – I’m not trying to argue with you. I’m pointing out what has been said to me via email & on the phone by other members of this forum. It seems I’m the only one who isn’t afraid to let you know that you do come off as insensitive. It hasn’t just been info you’ve posted relating to vaccines either. I simply wanted to make you aware of it. The problem, as always, with this type of communication is that sometimes the intent is lost while a person is reading your words. I have been accused of being insensitive as well. I had to really consider what I was typing & how other people would interpret it.

      As far as the vaccine issue goes – you will believe what you want & others will be believe what they want. Just please try to be more aware of other people’s feelings on the subject.

      That’s all I’m saying.

      Happy Easter!

    • GH
      April 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

      I don’t think you are insensitive at all, and thanks for the input.

    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Wow. I didn’t realized I said all that. Happy Easter.

    • April 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      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!!

    • GH
      April 9, 2012 at 4:05 am

      Dawn Kevie’s mom:

      A prior history of GBS is considered by the CDC to be a contraindication for the live, attenuated influenza vaccine, but only a precaution for the inactivated influenza vaccine.  It is also a contraindication for meningococcal vaccines (Menactra), however it is still allowed for certain persons at high risk.

      If someone is saying Menactra is “known to cause GBS,” that is an exaggeration.  It is listed as a contraindication because of associations reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, as a precaution.  Here is the statement on Menactra from the FDA:

      Excerpt from linked document:

      “While the cases reported suggest a small increased risk of GBS following immunization with Menactra, the limitations in VAERS, and the uncertainty regarding background incidence rates for GBS require that these findings be viewed with caution. At this time, CDC and FDA cannot determine with certainty whether Menactra does increase the risk of GBS in persons who receive the vaccine and, if so, to what degree. …”

      Perhaps it seems like I’m nit-picking, but I think it better to refer to the official statements from the CDC, FDA, and NIH, for consistency.  Then, of course, to discuss these statements with your personal physician if you are considering whether to take a particular vaccine or not.

      My degrees are both Computer Science.  In some universities this is an Arts and Sciences degree instead of Engineering.  Most people who call themselves “Software Engineer” are not degreed engineers at all, or CS A&S.  

      The computer field is much more crowded today than when I entered it.  I’m not sure if the opportunities are as good as they used to be.  The main thing, however, is to choose the discipline in which one has the most interest and talent.  Mechanical Engineering will not have the problem of unqualified people calling themselves “engineer.”  I wish your son the best of success in his chosen field.


    • GH
      April 9, 2012 at 4:16 am

      The compensation fund, by the way, has a political aspect. It’s purpose is to increase vaccination rates, to compensate people who MAY have been injured by a vaccine in furtherance of that purpose, and to avoid costly litigation. This program is justifed in awarding compensation even when the causality is only speculative.

      I don’t have any problem with the compensation fund. I think everyone should be covered for catastrophic illness, anyway.

    • Anonymous
      April 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Really a nice discussion is done by you. I am very impress to learn your explanation . I have no more knowledge about this topic but i am satisfied with your explanation .Way of the explanation, writing of the explanation and your style, really it are a very different. In the my opinion, thinking of the every person may be different of the other but it lies some where to some people. I send love,affection , strength to you to presents this type of the post.
      Thanking you .

    • September 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      I agree with everyone here except GH. Way too many cases of GBS happen after a flu shot or vaccine. And yes they do have a form that you sign regarding GBS and even have information against getting a flu shot in literature about the flu shot. You can get hit with this by having surgery, getting a cold, the flu, eating tainted meat….and so on. A lot of us have done exhaustive research for our own answers and have become our own advocates for our care. And we are still learning because it is in our own best interest. We don’t settle for the first thing that comes up on google. We dig deep, we find obscure bits of information, I have even personally had emails between Dr. Gareth Parry and myself asking and receiving information I had trouble finding elsewhere. Did you know your body can negatively react to even being pregnant? Did you know that the hormones in your body can cause your system to react in a negative way causing residuals to flare up? Even Caffeine, fake sugars, certain other foods. And the crappy one, sometimes your own body keeps on the attack long after GBS is “gone”.

      Vaccines and GBS are not a conspiracy theory. WAY TOO MANY people have gotten ill because of this disgusting vaccination for it to be brushed aside as a coincidence. Easier to brush it under the rug or call people crazy than being sued over and over again.

    • January 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      I recently saw an American commercial for a flu vaccine. At the end where they list all the possible side effects, the announcer clearly states that you should not get the shot if you had GBS. If unrelated, why the concern from the pharmaceutical company?

    • January 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I would rather get the flu than risk another GBS attack!