Don’t Let a Study on Vaccines and Guillaine-Barre Syndrome That Showed No Link Fool You
Just because a rare disorder like Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that affects 1 in 100,000 people was found not to be linked to vaccines, don’t be confused and assume therefore that vaccines do not cause any neurological issues. When it comes to vaccines and neurological issues, one has to understand the complexity of trying to sort out cause and effect. It’s near impossible to design a study that looks at the effects of, for example, the current USA vaccine schedule and the increased autism rates, or increased rates of so many chronic diseases of modern civilization.
We desperately need well-done prospective studies on large populations looking for clues. One such study that was done to show the importance of taking folate while pregnant, was published this year in JAMA, Feb 13th. 2013. Over 85,000 Norwegian women were divided with half taking folate and half not. Those who took folate had an autism rate (children were followed for 6 years on average) of 1 in 1000. If they didn’t take folate the rate was 1 in 500. If you think about it, the autism rate over the same time period (study done on births from 2002-2006, followed through 2012) here in the USA was 1 in 100. Why 1 in 100 here and 1 in 1000 in Norway? Moms here take folate with their prenatal vitamins. I wonder if the fact that they do not give the Hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns, 2 months old, and 6 month olds in Norway like we do here in the States has anything to do with it. My experience in my practice says it absolutely does have everything to do with it. My experience is a rate of 1 in 1000, just like in Norway. 99% of my patients do not choose to give the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns, once they are educated on the fact that this vaccine has 250 micrograms of aluminum, and babies can only catch hepatitis B if their mom has hepatitis B.
I do think this study is very important, and while it was funded by the vaccine companies, I suspect the findings are valid. They tracked 415 cases of Guillain-Barre in the Kaiser system in California from 1995 to 2006. This represented 33 million person -years (tracking about 3.3 million people for 10 years). Two thirds of the cases had a documented GI or respiratory infection in the weeks before the GBS, and just 25 had received any vaccine within 6 weeks of developing GBS (18 flu shots, 2 pneumonia vaccines, 3 tetanus shots, 3 hepatitis B vaccines).
In all my years of giving 10 thousand plus flu vaccines and tens of thousands of other vaccines, I have yet to have a single case of GBS. When Menactra, to prevent the deadly meningococcal infections, and the Guardisil, to prevent cervical cancer in women and genital warts in all, were newly licensed, there were some case reposts on the Internet raising fears about BGS. They have now had millions of doses with no increase in risk for GBS.