Tetanus shot – yeah or nay after GBS
July 28, 2018 at 11:30 am
Hi, I had GBS in 2004. I, of course, was told not to receive vaccines anymore. I have not had any since however yesterday I was bitten by a cat and I cannot verify its vaccination records and we have not seen the cat again to capture. So my doctor has suggested a tetanus shot and possibly rabies vaccine if we cannot find the cat to confirm. I’m not excited about either but both, while rare, are deadly. Has anyone had a Tetanus shot after GBS and not had a relapse? Thank you!
July 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm
There exists a small risk of triggering GBS from vaccinations, including tetanus vaccinations. The risk is probably increased for those that have already been afflicted with an autoimmune disease such as GBS.
The debate continues about the risks and each of us respond differently to the various vaccines. Perhaps in the near future researchers will find more conclusive evidence about what causes our autoimmune systems to produce antibodies that no longer recognize “self”. But for now, each of us has to make our own decisions about getting a vaccination.
Rabies is an awful disease that can be fatal if allowed to progress to the stage where neurological symptoms are present. Normally one should begin vaccinations for rabies within six days of contracting it. The risks of triggering GBS are far less in most people than what the rabies can do to them. Even though I have GBS/CIDP/MFS, I would not hesitate to get the tetanus shot if I had rabies. Rabies is a 100% vaccine-preventable disease according to WHO:
More information on the risks of GBS from the tetanus shot are here:
July 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm
Thank you Jim. I went ahead with the Tetanus and will do so with the Rabies in the next couple of days if we don’t find out more about this cat. I’ll take my chances on GBS verses the alternative. I appreciate the information as well.
August 6, 2018 at 1:50 pm
Hi- I’m late to the discussion, but maybe someone else can use my experience:
I was in my third week in the hospital and somehow remembered that I was due for my tetanus shot right around then. Not sure what went on “behind the scenes”, but I was given the shot within days. Maybe it had something to do with having it done before being transferred to the rehab facility.
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