The Flu Shot and Paralyzing Nerve Disorders

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Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an uncommon but serious autoimmune disorder that damages the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system refers to the nerves in the body outside the brain and spinal cord. The syndrome can be caused by an acute infectious process or by vaccination.  A person affected with GBS will initially have a tingly and numbing sensation in the limbs, usually the lower part of the legs, and there will also be weakness in those areas. Often the sensations spread to the entire body and the patient becomes paralyzed.

Flu shot injuries have long included GBS.  In 1976-1977, an unusually high rate of GBS was identified in the United States following the administration of the "swine flu" vaccine. In 2003, the Institute of Medicine accepted that there was a relationship between the 1976 swine influenza vaccines and GBS in adults. In other words, they recognized that the vaccine caused a flu shot injury.

Flu shot injuries are covered in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  Symptoms will typically begin several days to six weeks after vaccination.  This lag time often confuses individuals as to what the actual cause of the injury might be.  From a statistical standpoint, flu shot injuries are one of the most common vaccine injury claims made in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.