Hi, could I have some advice please re my 9 year old daughter. She was diagnosed March 2021 with GBS sensory variant. It was after a virus. She is still recovering and has some nerve pain still. She picks up every bug and is regularly unwell and even at home during lockdown has had colds. When she gets sick or has a busy day she gets very tired and has more nerve pain and usually needs a day resting in bed as a result. She is not yet eligible for the covid 19 vaccine. Our family bubble is fully vaccinated. I am very concerned about her potentially being exposed to covid with the talk of school possibly returning. I have 2 questions, is there a risk that if she gets sick with covid 19 it would trigger a relapse of her GBS? Also, I would like her to have the vaccine when eligible, should I discuss this with a doctor or neurologist first? Thank you so much in advance for any advice. Please let me know if you need any further information on her case in order to help =) kind regards, Debbie.
These are tough questions for several reasons. First, it is very unusual for GBS to affect a 9-year old and secondly, it is very unusual to have a sensory variant. Thirdly, there is very little scientific data on which to base my answers but here goes anyway. The easiest to answer is your second question. There is a good study from Israel looking at people who have had GBS and then have the COVID vaccine and that showed that only one patient had neurological symptoms after the vaccine and it was not clear whether it was really recurrent GBS or not. Also, the symptoms were mild and the person recovered quickly and fully. I have been unable to find any other reports of GBS patients suffering a relapse with any of the COVID vaccines. I think , therefore, that it would be wise to have your daughter vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is approved for children under the age of 12. You definitely should talk to both your GP and your neurologist before doing this but my opinion is that it would be safe. The first part of your question is more difficult to answer. The fact that your daughter seems to get worse when she gets a cold or is over-tired suggests to me that if she were to get COVID that effect would also be seen. She is probably also more likely to have a relapse of her GBS following COVID infection than she is following the vaccine although recurrence of GBS following COVID infection has not been reported. So, I think the risk of COVID infection is much greater than the risk of the vaccine and that is more reason to get her vaccinated when the vaccine is available for 9-year old children. It is very important that you discuss these issues with your GP and your neurologist because they know your daughter and I do not. Feel free to share my thoughts with them.