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Possible link between flu jab and Guillain-Barré syndrome under investigation

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:620
  1. Charles Marwick
  1. Washington

    The US Institute of Medicine's immunisation safety review committee has been investigating whether the influenza vaccine might carry a risk of the demyelinating disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    A sharp increase in cases of the disorder occurred in 1993–4 after immunisation. There were 74 cases in 1994, compared with only 37 cases in 1993 and 23 in 1991. Although the number of reports of vaccine associated cases of the syndrome has remained low in recent years—between 20 and 40—the sudden increase in 1994 raised concerns about vaccine safety.

    In a fact finding session earlier …

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