Influenza Vaccination Can Reduce Risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome

It's unclear whether the effect that the vaccine has on contracting influenza is responsible for the reduced risk.

It is unclear whether seasonal influenza vaccination results in a net increase or decrease in the risk for Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). To assess the effect of seasonal influenza vaccination on the absolute risk of acquiring GBS, we used simulation models and published estimates of age- and sex-specific risks for GBS, influenza incidence, and vaccine effectiveness.

For a hypothetical 45-year-old woman and 75-year-old man, excess GBS risk for influenza vaccination versus no vaccination was −0.36/1 million vaccinations (95% credible interval −1.22% to 0.28%) and −0.42/1 million vaccinations (95% credible interval, –3.68% to 2.44%), respectively.

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