March 13, 2020 at 2:23 pm
Gareth ParryMedical Expert
The usual advice from the GBS/CIDP Foundation International Medical Advisory Board, of which I am a member, is that people who have had GBS should not have the flu vaccination ever if their GBS clearly followed a previous flu vaccination or in the year following GBS regardless of the trigger. You are less than a year after your GBS but it was not triggered by a flu vaccination. There are several factors that would make me deviate from the usual recommendation in your case. First, you have diabetes which puts you at greater risk of having a serious complication of the flu. Second, you work as a carer so you have a greater risk of being exposed. Third, you are close to a year out from your GBS, Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the threat posed by COVID-19 (coronavirus). A flu vaccination won’t protect you against COVID-19 but if you were to get both flu and COVID-19 infection your chances of getting seriously ill are extremely high. The risk of the flu vaccine triggering a relapse of your GBS is extremely small while your risk of getting seriously ill from the flu or COVID-19 infections, although not very high, is certainly much higher. I feel that it is imperative that you get the flu vaccine the moment it is made available through your GP.