Prevnar 13 Question

    • November 18, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      I came down with GBS in 2005 after receiving a booster shot of the flu vaccine. I experienced fairly sever leg weakness and some breathing difficulty while asleep. I was never hospitalized and my neurologist diagnosed me with GBS or a close variant. Since 2005 I have not received any vaccinations for the flue or anything else. I am 69 years old and would like to get the Prevnar 13 pneumonia shot to protect myself. A nurse told me it would probably be okay for me to get this shot since the pneumonia vaccine is a dead bacteria and not a viral vaccine. I’ve had a doctor tell me the same thing. Does anyone have any first hand experience with this or a medical opinion on it? I want to get this shot but I also want to be safe. Any help appreciated.

    • November 19, 2016 at 12:03 am

      I had Pneumonia as a result of taking Prednisone for my CIDP. A year later, I was offered the same vaccine you were. My Neurologist (at a Center of Excellence) said there was a risk the shot would trigger my CIDP. This was because my auto-immune system already knew how to create anti-bodies that attack “self” in response to such infections, whether the vaccine was inactive or not at the time of injection. I opted to take no risk of CIDP returning. It has the worst downside potential for me. My feeling is that Pneumonia is a lesser disease and easier to treat than CIDP. The risk of reactivating my CIDP, now in remission, was not warranted in my opinion. But not everyone is the same and you must make your own decision.

    • November 23, 2016 at 8:10 am

      I had GBS 4 years ago. I had the Prevnar 13 shot a year ago on the advice of my PCP. I’ve had no issues.


    • jk
      November 23, 2016 at 9:19 am

      If ever there were a ‘this is up to you personal decision’ after consultation with your doctor, this is one of them. I have asked this question of several doctors. Here is an online opinion regarding Flu vaccine from Pub Med in 2012:


      The incidence of post-influenza vaccine GBS is similar to the incidence of idiopathic GBS in the general population. Although the nonnormal distribution of post-vaccination GBS suggests that some cases may be triggered by vaccination, the greater risk of complications from influenza virus infections makes vaccination the first-line strategy for infection prevention and support the current guidelines on vaccination.

      By the way, several studies of the Data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System supports this conclusion. The website is here:

      The general reply from the doctors I have questioned goes along these lines- “That’s a good question with no easy answer. Generally speaking the risk of complications (including death) from the disease is greater than the risk of another adverse reaction to the vaccine.”

      I have already agreed with Jim-LA. This a personal decision. No amount of vote taking here makes that any easier.

      In answer to your question- Yes, I have recently had the Pneumococcal vaccination
      • Prevnar 13 (PF) 0.5 mL intramuscular syringe. And, I have had the flu shot every year for the last 3 years.

    • November 23, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      I appreciate everyone’s input on this difficult decision. My doctor was against my receiving any viral vaccine such as the annual flu shot as there is a possible link between viral vaccines and GBS. I’m aware that one study showed no link. My doctor and a knowledgeable medical colleague of his are of the opinion that since the Prevnar 13 is not a viral vaccine but is a vaccine made up of 13 different types of dead bacteria (no viruses) it would be okay for me to get the Pravnar 13 shot which I am leaning toward getting..

    • jk
      December 3, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      In a different thread I raised the subject of immune suppression. Something to think about in relation to ‘flu’ shots.

      I reported in this thread that I just had the 13 layer Flu shot. In the other thread I raised the issue of poor immune response following immune suppression.

      My immunologist, and therefore, myself, have received the test results of the blood labs to check for the effectiveness of my immune system to the flu vaccine shot. The answer is that I failed to produce sufficient antibodies to this flu shot.

      What does it mean? In my case, I took the chance of an adverse vaccine reaction for nothing. Literally. I did not produce enough antibodies to be considered to have the proper response to a flu shot. If the flu, in any of the forms in the shot comes around, I will not have the average person’s immunity to those forms.