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Medical Experts

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    • Gareth Parry

      Keymaster

    • #2927

      While the benefits of vaccination, in the great majority of cases, far outweigh any risk there are exceptions. You history sounds complex with a host of autoimmune diseases. You have also been diagnosed with GBS but the occurrence of a relapse makes me doubt that diagnosis. Relapses in GBS are exceedingly rare and it is possible that you have a relapsing form of CIDP. Unfortunately, you are getting conflicting advice; one medical team recommending vaccination and your GP advising against it. I regret that it is not appropriate for me to comment on an individual case, particularly one so complex. You need to try to get your GP and the medical team managing your pregnancy on to the same page with regard to vaccination advice. Sorry to be of so little help.


    • Gareth Parry

      Keymaster

    • #2877

      Hi Jim: First, your immune system was never compromised; AIDP does not compromise the immune system. Second, the benefit of getting the flu shot far outweighs any risk unless your original AIDP was triggered by a flu shot. Please see my detailed article posted on the Website a few days ago for more details. Gareth Parry


    • Gareth Parry

      Keymaster

    • #2842

      The usual advice from the GBS/CIDP Foundation International Medical Advisory Board, of which I am a member, is that people who have had GBS should not have the flu vaccination ever if their GBS clearly followed a previous flu vaccination or in the year following GBS regardless of the trigger. You are less than a year after your GBS but it was not triggered by a flu vaccination. There are several factors that would make me deviate from the usual recommendation in your case. First, you have diabetes which puts you at greater risk of having a serious complication of the flu. Second, you work as a carer so you have a greater risk of being exposed. Third, you are close to a year out from your GBS, Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the threat posed by COVID-19 (coronavirus). A flu vaccination won’t protect you against COVID-19 but if you were to get both flu and COVID-19 infection your chances of getting seriously ill are extremely high. The risk of the flu vaccine triggering a relapse of your GBS is extremely small while your risk of getting seriously ill from the flu or COVID-19 infections, although not very high, is certainly much higher. I feel that it is imperative that you get the flu vaccine the moment it is made available through your GP.

      in reply to: Should I have flu vax

    • Gareth Parry

      Keymaster

    • #2839

      This year, more than any, it is important that you do get the influenza vaccine. With the CORVID-19 already upon us you need to make sure you are immunized against other viruses since the combination of the 2 illnesses could certainly be fatal. If your GBS was triggered by a previous flu vaccine, i.e., it occurred 2-3 weeks after the vaccination, there is a slightly increased risk of recurrence but it is still extremely small. If your GBS was not triggered by flu vaccination your risk is negligible. The fact that you have diabetes makes it even more important to get vaccinated.


    • Gareth Parry

      Keymaster

    • #2811

      Hi Kay: This is one of the commonest questions we get asked and there is no simple answer. It is always important to weigh risk against benefits for any medical treatment and vaccinations are no exception. We know that the risk of getting GBS again after receiving any vaccination is extremely small. Without knowing the specifics of your travel I am unable to say for certain what risk you face of getting typhoid, yellow fever, etc. If you are mainly in cities with only brief forays into the countryside it is unlikely that you will be exposed to any of these diseases. If you are to spend significant time in mosquito-infested areas then yellow fever vaccination would be important. Unless you are going to be in an area rife with feral dogs I would avoid rabies vaccination since that can trigger GBS is produced in neural tissue as it often is in developing countries. I strongly recommend that you consult with an expert in travel medicine to help you determine just what vaccinations are highly recommended, based on your specific travel plans, and what can be safely be omitted. In the final analysis, your risk of getting GBS again is extremely small, regardless of which vaccinations you get.

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