Is Flue vaccine safe after GBS

    • February 12, 2017 at 7:13 am

      My GBS began February 2015. I am now fully recovered. Is it safe to have flu vaccine? I am probably being over cautious.

    • February 12, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      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. 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. But not everyone will feel the same and you must make your own decision.

    • GH
      February 12, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      The influenza vaccine may trigger a few cases of GBS, but there are no studies that show it so the effect must be very small if it exists at all. The incidence of GBS is the same comparing those who have been vaccinated against those who had not been.

      I had CIDP, but similar to GBS. I had never had a flu shot in my life. While I was in the rehab hospital the nurses offered me one. I declined, having read of a possible connection, but since then I read up on it thoroughly and changed my mine. I now get a flu shot every year. Because of my age I get the high-dosage version. I have had no side effects.

      Influenza is more dangerous than the risk from the vaccine. In my case, it is also important because I visit hospitals and want to minimize the risk of being a carrier.

    • February 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      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.

      More discussion on this topic and results from recent studies can be found in this thread:

    • February 14, 2017 at 1:49 am

      I got a flu shot a year after completing my gbs treatments. So far so good. It’s been a year since the flu shot, so two years since I completed gbs treatments, and I have not had a reoccurring epsiode. I would like to state, I’m not reccommending for you to get the flu shot, this is just my personal experience.

    • July 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

      In my personal experience, I will not get any vaccine, as it may have been a vaccine that caused my GBS(possibly Miller Fischer Variant), now CIDP. I am unsure what caused it, but I stay far, far away from any vaccines. Until my doctor tells me that I must get a vaccine, nope. 🙂

    • July 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      2016 was the first year I did not have a flu shot since…forever. Neurologist suggested to skip it which I did with no issues, although I did a lot of hand sanitizing and reducing my attendance at high population events.

      There may be no connection, but I did have a couple of vaccines, one of them for the flu, a few weeks before the CIDP showed up and kicked into full blown disease.

    • August 1, 2017 at 1:31 am

      i’ve never had another one after two episodes in 88, and my childrens pediatrician refrained from giving them flu shots and my daughter has decided not to get flu shots for her children

    • August 4, 2017 at 1:02 am

      I can’t even imagine wanting to get another flu shot knowing it gave you GBS before. I’m in 2-1/2 years having GBS after receiving the flu shot and damn sure have no desire to EVER get another one!

    • August 4, 2017 at 4:26 am

      I, personally, do not get any vaccines after my bout with GBS at age 8 and current CIDP diagnosis. I am sure I received regular childhood vaccinations, but I will not get a flu shot or any other vaccine. I feel it may have caused my GBS at age 8, but I am not sure, as all of my family who was around at that time has since passed on.