Statement on Vaccines and GBS
June 18, 2021
There is no evidence at the present time to suggest that ANY of the vaccines is associated with GBS in any significant numbers (with data only on AZ, Pfizer and Moderna from the UK). Multiple international surveillance systems are looking specifically for GBS as it is designated an Adverse Event of Special Interest, deemed so because of the small associated risks with influenza vaccines, as reported over many years. There are enough data to exclude any risk of GBS after vaccination to exclude a link at a rate of 1 per 100000 vaccines, but very large numbers of data need to be collated and carefully analysed to detect a risk at 1 per million vaccines where the background rate of GBS is 1 case per 50000 people per year, and higher in the older populations initially selected for vaccination.
At present, despite many millions of vaccinations in countries with extensive vaccination programmes such as the UK and the USA, no link has been identified. The risk of death or long term complications from COVID in adults still far exceeds the risk of any possible risk of GBS by several orders of magnitude.