Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and the Flu Shot

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) after a flu shot

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system is triggered in a way in which it attacks part of the peripheral nervous system (the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord).

 GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to walk, balance or breathe independently.  The rehabilitation for GBS is intense and severe, and after recovery, some people will continue to have some degree of weakness.

How does GBS manifest?

The acute progression of limb weakness, often with sensory and cranial nerve involvement 1–2 weeks after immune stimulation, proceeds to its peak clinical deficit in 2–4 weeks.  When patients present with rapidly progressive paralysis, the diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome needs to be made as soon as possible. Symptoms peak within 4 weeks, followed by a recovery period that can last months or years, as the immune response decays and the peripheral nerve undergoes an endogenous repair process.

What Causes GBS?

Guillain-Barré syndrome is the most common and most severe acute paralytic neuropathy, with about 100,000 people developing the disorder every year worldwide.  GBS can be preceded by infections, by viral and bacterial, or by vaccination. While somewhat uncommon, cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome have been linked to recent influenza vaccines.

The relevant medical literature that supports the causal link between GBS and the flu shot is based on the 1976 vaccination campaign for H1N1 influenza A virus, where roughly one in 100 000 people who had been vaccinated developed Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Vaccine Injury Attorney

At Green & Schafle LLC, our partner, David J. Carney, Esquire, has been handling vaccine cases in the VICP for several years and is currently the Vice President of the Vaccine Bar Association, the national organization dedicated to representing those injured by vaccines.  

As a Pennsylvania vaccine lawyer, New Jersey vaccine lawyer, and Delaware vaccine lawyer, David routinely represents individuals in the tristate area, as well as nationwide, who have been injured from vaccines.

If you or someone know has been injured by a vaccine, please contact us immediately for a free consultation at 215 462 3330 or by using our online contact form.