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Vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines and Guillain-Barre’ syndrome
- Principi, Nicola, Esposito, Susanna
- Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.37 pp. 5544-5550
- Papillomaviridae, influenza, influenza vaccines, measles, people, risk, risk reduction, vaccination
- Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute, immune-mediated polyradiculoneuropathy. Infections and vaccines have been hypothesized to play a role in triggering GBS development. These beliefs can play a role in reducing vaccination coverage. In this report, data concerning this hypothesis are discussed. It is shown that an association between vaccine administration and GBS has never been proven for most of debated vaccines, although it cannot be definitively excluded. The only exception is the influenza vaccine, at least for the preparation used in 1976. For some vaccines, such as measles/mumps/rubella, human papillomavirus, tetravalent conjugated meningococcal vaccine, and influenza, the debate between supporters and opponents of vaccination remains robust and perception of vaccines’ low safety remains a barrier to achieving adequate vaccination coverage. Less than 1 case of GBS per million immunized persons might occur for these vaccines. However, in some casesimmunization actually reduces the risk of GBS development. In addition, the benefits of vaccination are clearly demonstrated by the eradication or enormous decline in the incidence of many vaccine-preventable diseases. These data highlight that the hypothesized risks of adverse events, such as GBS, cannot be considered a valid reason to avoid the administration of currently recommended vaccines.