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There is no evidence that vaccination against COVID-19 increases the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, according to a Rutgers-led study.

It is published in the journal vaccine, a Statistical analysis the Rutgers team found that there is no significant link between any of the currently offered vaccines against COVID-19 and the disease. The group was led by Nizar Suaya, a professor of neurology at Rutgers School of Medicine in New Jersey, who, in collaboration with other scientists, mentored a group of students at Rutgers School of Medicine in New Jersey.

In July 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an alert based on initial reports that those receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine may be at greater risk of developing a sometimes fatal disease.

The researchers developed an artificial intelligence tool that assisted their analysis and pulled information from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The national databasewhich includes reports on harmful effect from vaccines that can be administered by doctors or patients is supported by the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is important because we can say that there is no significant increase in the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome in the population using VAERS data,” said Mustafa Jafri, a a medical student at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey and first author of the study. “This information can help build trust in vaccines by approaching it from an objective statistical analysis.”

After learning about the initial warning, the researchers wanted to dig deeper to understand whether the risk, even minimal, of developing the syndrome was real. They also wanted to look at all brands of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as reports on other types of vaccines, because there has long been a connection between vaccines and the syndrome. Jaffrey said there is some connection because vaccinations stimulate the immune system and the syndrome is immune system disorder.

“This is a burning question in medicine,” Jaffrey said.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is often caused by a bacterial infectionwhich adds to the complexity of the analysis.

“The initial reports just said that someone got the shot and then developed Guillain-Barré syndrome a few weeks later,” Jaffrey said. “But they could have contracted an infection that wasn’t related to the vaccine.”

To find out if there was a statistically significant increase in disease among those vaccinated, the team collected vaccine data from the VAERS database and organized it in several ways. They first divided the data into three time periods, using the time before the onset of COVID-19 and the interval before the introduction of vaccines as “control” periods, offering a comparison of disease rates with a third time period that began with the introduction of the vaccine. They calculated how many vaccines were given in each time period. They also included adverse reports of influenza, HPV, meningitis, and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines in their analysis. In addition, they assigned a value to each reported case of Guillain-Barré syndrome, indicating the probability that it is a true diagnosis of the syndrome.

“The main observation is that we found that although there were more reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome after the COVID-19 vaccines compared to other vaccines, the rate was not higher than the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the general population.” , – said Suaya. , corresponding author on the study. “The significance of this statement is that the COVID vaccine is not statistically associated with an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.”

The researchers plan to continue using their new developments analytical methods explore other possible links between vaccines and disease.

Other Rutgers researchers involved in the study included Jeffrey Kornitzer, assistant professor of neurology at the Rutgers School of Medicine of New Jersey; and Kazim Jaffrey and Kranti Mandawa, both medical students at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey. Other institutions involved in the study included the Pediatric Neurological Institute of New Jersey in Morristown, New Jersey, Columbia University in New York, Northeastern University in Boston and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

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Additional information:
M. Jaffry and others. No significant increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome after COVID-19 vaccination in adults: a vaccine adverse event reporting system study. The vaccine (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.08.038

Citation: Researchers find no significant increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome after COVID-19 vaccination (2022, October 4) retrieved October 4, 2022 from -syndrome- covid-vaccination.html

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