There are isolated reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after receiving vaccination.
To determine the rates and characteristics of GBS after administration of vaccination in United States
We used data for 1990 to 2005 from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is a cooperative program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.
There were 1000 cases (mean age, 47 years) of GBS reported after vaccination in the United States between 1990 and 2005. The onset of GBS was within 6 weeks in 774 cases, >6 weeks in 101, and unknown in 125. Death and disability after the event occurred in 32 (3.2%) and 167 (16.7%) subjects, respectively. The highest number (n = 632) of GBS cases was observed in subjects receiving influenza vaccine followed by hepatitis B vaccine (n = 94). Other vaccines or combinations of vaccines were associated with 274 cases of GBS. The incidence of GBS after influenza vaccination was marginally higher in subjects <65 years compared with those ≥65 years (P = 0.09); for hepatitis vaccine, the incidence was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in the <65 group. Death was more frequent in subjects ≥65 years compared with those <65 years (P < 0.0001).
Our results suggest that vaccines other than influenza vaccine can be associated with GBS. Vaccination-related GBS results in death or disability in one fifth of affected individuals, which is comparable to the reported rates in the general GBS population.
From the *Epidemiological and Outcomes Research Division, Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center, and the Department of Neurology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ; and †Department of Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY.
Reprints: Nizar Souayah, MD, 90 Bergen Street, DOC 8100, Newark NJ, 07103 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).