COVID vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

Posted by cff @cff, Jun 30 4:39pm

I had GBS years ago and now hear pros and cons on if I should get the Vaccine or not. I also had covid in January and was hospitalized for 6 days. It took me two years to get over GBS and 2 months to get over covid so not sure what to do.

Hi @cff, I can understand your hesitancy in getting the COVID vaccine given your history of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). And at the same time, you surely don't want to be hospitalized again due to the COVID infection.

According to the CDC:
"People who have previously had GBS may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To date, no cases of GBS have been reported following vaccination in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. One case of GBS was reported in a vaccinated participant in the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine clinical trial (compared to one GBS case among those who received placebo). With few exceptions, the independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) general best practice guidelines for immunization do not include a history of GBS as a precaution to vaccination with other vaccines." https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/underlying-conditions.html

This article may also interest you.
– Preventing COVID-19 outweighs ‘theoretical’ risk for Guillain-Barré syndrome with vaccine https://www.healio.com/news/neurology/20210407/preventing-covid19-outweighs-theoretical-risk-for-guillainbarr-syndrome-with-vaccine

What has your doctor recommended for you?

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He said he thought it would be fine to take the vaccine but he told me to go to the local research hospital to get the vaccine and discuss it with them. I did and when I gave them my history three medical personnel discussed it and said they would want approval from my dr before they would give me the shot. That tells me if something happened they would not be responsible.

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a friend of mine had GB about 4 years ago and had her 2 Pfizer shots, she was hesitant also, she had no side effects at all. Wishing you the same, I think I would get the shot due to the new Delta variant.

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Dr. Poland, Mayo Clinic virologist, has a podcast on Covid. He says that people who are immune compromised should get the shots. Also I have a friend who had GB and he did just fine with the shots. The Delta variant is one hundred percent more transmissible than the original Covid, according to Poland. I hope you get your shots.

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I have had a compromised immune systems for a long time but there was no other alternative for me than to get it and as fast as possible my wife and I were lucky to get them starting in February we both know of people that we knew that are no longer with us so I say to anyone who is reluctant to get it the alternative is much worse than anything that the vaccine could possibly do

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@mpeters

Dr. Poland, Mayo Clinic virologist, has a podcast on Covid. He says that people who are immune compromised should get the shots. Also I have a friend who had GB and he did just fine with the shots. The Delta variant is one hundred percent more transmissible than the original Covid, according to Poland. I hope you get your shots.

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Unfortunately I know a few people that have not done well with the vaccine and have had complications. It’s a gamble either way. Just hoping we can get through this fall given the variants and that we see less vaccine issues with teenagers.

There is no perfect answer right now.

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Thank you everyone for feedback. Helps me make a more informed decision. I am thinking I will get the vaccine.

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When i look up GBS on the Mayo Clinic web site it states the that GBS can be triggered by Covid 19. So if i understand correctly GBS can be caused having Covid 19. Is there research or cases that support that? Have not heard anything about that in news media. All I have heard in the beginning was possible vaccine might trigger GBS which they claim now it will not.

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I took a look for case studies or research, and here is a fairly comprehensive report from the National Institutes of Health which contains links to case studies. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-vaccine-and-gbs/?pg=1#comment-618825

Guillian-Barre is a very rare complication of viral or bacterial illnesses, estimated at around 3,000-6,000 cases per year in the US or 1-2 cases per 100,000 people per year. GBS can also (very rarely) occur after a vaccination (Covid, Flu, and others)

In the past 18 months, 644 instances of GBS (possibly) being caused by all vaccines was 644. (VAERS says "Note: Submitting a report to VAERS does not mean that healthcare personnel or the vaccine caused or contributed to the adverse event (possible side effect)") That represents adverse reports from hundreds of millions of vaccine doses, so it is exceedingly rare. Epidemiologists point out that one is more likely to get GBS from an illness than from a vaccine to prevent it.

I think you are not seeing media reports about it because it is such a rare complication. As of today, there is not a good single source for finding a compiled list of the aftereffects of a Covid infection and the frequency of each one. As more information is gathered from hospitals, clinics and patients, the numbers will emerge. Recently, those studying "long haul" Covid have reported that about 20% of people experience ongoing issues later. You can learn more here: https://www.survivorcorps.com/

The bottom line as far as the virus, the vaccine and GBS or other side effects, we are many times more likely to have negative outcomes from the virus than from the vaccine.

If you have more questions, pleas feel free to ask…
Sue

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I have one more question, if you have had GBS will that virus always be in your system for the rest of your life?

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@cff

I have one more question, if you have had GBS will that virus always be in your system for the rest of your life?

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GBS itself isn’t a virus but often follows infection with a virus or bacteria. So this doesn’t become a latent virus in the body. However some side effects from having the Guillian-Barre Syndrome can have a lasting impact.

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@loribmt

GBS itself isn’t a virus but often follows infection with a virus or bacteria. So this doesn’t become a latent virus in the body. However some side effects from having the Guillian-Barre Syndrome can have a lasting impact.

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Thank you.

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