Risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome after seasonal influenza vaccination – Lancet study

The risk of Guillain-Barre is often viewed as an obstacle to influenza vaccination.

A recent study by Kwong et al published in the June 28th issue of the Lancet identified cases of Guillain-Barre that occurred with 6 weeks of vaccination and found that more cases occurred in the control group (not vaccinated) than in those who were vaccinated. Far greater number of Guillain-Barre cases were identified in the non-vaccinated group than in the ones vaccinated.

The conclusion reached was that the attributable risk for Guillain-Barre after seasonal inflluenza vaccination is lower than those after influenza disease itself. This study was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.


Risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome after seasonal influenza vaccination and influenza health-care encounters: a self-controlled study; Dr Jeffrey C Kwong MD,Priya P Vasa MD,Michael A Campitelli MPH,Steven Hawken MSc,Kumanan Wilson MD,Laura C Rosella PhD,Prof Therese A Stukel PhD,Natasha S Crowcroft MD(Cantab),Prof Allison J McGeer MD,Lorne Zinman MD,Shelley L Deeks MD The Lancet Infectious Diseases – 28 June 2013 DOI: 10.1016/S1473–3099(13)70104-X]