Which vaccines have been proven to cause Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: Jul 14, 2021
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Vaccinations have been linked to GBS [49] by temporal association. For example, a study reviewing GBS cases during the 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 influenza seasons found an adjusted relative risk of 1.7 cases per 1 million influenza vaccinations. [50]

In most cases, however, no definite causal relation has been established between vaccines and GBS, with the exception of rabies vaccine prepared from infected brain tissue and the 1976 swine flu vaccine. [43, 51]  (The increased risk of GBS after the swine flu vaccination, however, was just one extra case per 100,000 vaccinations. [52] )

Moreover, a review of all postvaccination cases of GBS from 1990-2005 did not reveal an increase in mortality with postvaccination cases of GBS compared with cases resulting from other causes. [49]

In addition, some studies have called the GBS/vaccine link into question, finding no evidence of an increased risk of GBS after seasonal influenza vaccine or after the 2009 H1N1 mass vaccination program. [53, 54, 55]

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