Unfortunately, very large international studies showed that there was no link between the Pfizer COVID vaccine and GBS. There was a small association with the Johnson and Johnson and Astrazeneca vaccines but those were rarely used in NZ. It is impossible to say whether an individual GBS case was linked to the vaccine even though there is a persuasive temporal association in your case. ACC takes its guidance from the studies showing no link and consistently declines coverage. I know of no neurologists in NZ who are willing to support and ACC application. A few individual GPs have tried but with very little success. There is one person in Christchurch who apparently was successful. You may be able to contact him through Tony Pearson, Secretary of the GBS Support Group Trust.
Unfortunaately, it is nearly impossible to get ACC support for issues relating to GBS. Some individuals have succeeded when GBS has followed vaccination but even those are rare. GBS is an autoimmune disease and as such is not considered to be accixdent related.
Hi Samantha: I am really sorry for the delay in answering your question. I asked the Occupational Therapy Department at Christchurch Hospital for their advive and this is what they said. “A return to driving requires medical clearance, at a minimum from the GP who will consider if there are any residual difficulties that may impact on driving such as upper limb weakness, reduced hand grip or reduced ability to quickly and accurate move your foot when seated. Fatigue and endurance also need to be considered and these can be difficult for the GP to assess in the office. Having up to date information from your physiotherapist and occupational therapist can assist the GP to make a decision. If they are unsure, you will be asked to do an Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment. It is recommended that any recommendation/clearance to drive is provided in writing for your records.” The short answer is that you should check with your GP. If he/she is not happy to give you the clearance you should get a referral to the local OT people to get the formal assessment. Gareth
Hi Christian: This is very difficult to answer as your nerves have been given a clean bill of health by the neurologist whom you saw and it seems that he has been very thorough. Long-lasting residual fatigue is common after the usual forms of GBS but uncommon after Miller Fisher unless there was some limb weakness as well. It is important to make sure that your doctors have checked for other potential causes of fatigue like low thyroid function, anemia or a sleep disorder. The other fluctuating symptoms are sufficiently nonspecific that I have difficulty coming up with an explanation. I am generally very supportive of getting a 2nd opinion in obscure cases like yours but I am not optimistic that there is going to be a satisfacgtory anwer for you. I will forward your questions to Suzie Mudge who has just compelted a study on fatigue after GBS and she will have some good advice on how to manage that symptom. Sorry to be of so little help. On a related note, it would be great if you were willing to participate in our ongoing research study. If you are will to do that you should contact Dr Eileen McManus at email@example.com
Hi Ian: Yes, we are still recruiting people to join our GBS research study. Please contact Dr McManus at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get in touch with you. We very much appreciate your willingness to participate.