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Guillain-Barre Syndrome Following Vaccination in the National Influenza Immunization Program, United States
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Topics: Guillain-Barre Syndrome

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Schonberger LB, Bregman DJ, Sullivan-Bolyai JZ, Keenlyside RA, Ziegler DW, Retailliau HF, Eddins DL, Bryan JA. Guillain-Barre syndrome following vaccination in the National influenza immunization Program, United States, 1976--1977. Am J Epidemiol. 1979 Aug;110(2):105-23.

Because of an increase in the number of reports of Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) following A/New Jersey influenza vaccination, the National influenza immunization Program was suspended December 16, 1976 and nationwide surveillance for GBS was begun. This surveillance uncovered a total of 1098 patients with onset of GBS from October 1, 1976, to January 31, 1977, from all 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A total of 532 patients had recently received an A/New Jersey influenza vaccination prior to their onset of GBS (vaccinated cases), and 15 patients received a vaccination after their onset of GBS. Five hundred forty-three patients had not been recently vaccinated with A/New Jersey influenza vaccine and the vaccination status for 8 was unknown. Epidemiologic evidence indicated that many cases of GBS were related to vaccination. When compared to the unvaccinated population, the vaccinated population had a significantly elevated attack rate in every adult age group. The estimated attributable risk of vaccine-related GBS in the adult population was just under one case per 100,000 vaccinations. The period of increased risk was concentrated primarily within the 5-week period after vaccination, although it lasted for approximately 9 or 10 weeks.


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