mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Not Tied to Increases in Guillain-Barré Syndrome

However, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was associated with increased risk at 21 and 42 days postvaccination
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen) vaccination is associated with an increased risk for Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), but no similar increased risk was seen for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Network Open.

Winston E. Abara, M.D., from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues evaluated GBS reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and compared reporting patterns within 21 and 42 days after vaccination with the Ad26.COV2.S, BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines.

The researchers identified 295 verified reports of individuals with GBS after COVID-19 vaccination. There were 209 reports that occurred within 21 days and 253 occurred within 42 days of vaccination. GBS reporting rates within 21 days of vaccination were 3.29 per 1 million doses for Ad26.COV.2, 0.29 for BNT162b2, and 0.35 for mRNA-1273. Within 42 days of vaccination, reporting rates were 4.07 for Ad26.COV.2, 0.34 for BNT162b2, and 0.44 for mRNA-1273. After Ad26.COV2.S, GBS was more frequently reported within 21 days than after BNT162b2 (reporting rate ratio [RRR], 11.40) or mRNA-1273 (RRR, 9.26) vaccination. Findings were similar within 42 days after vaccination (BNT162b2: RRR, 12.06; mRNA-1273: RRR, 9.27). For 21 and 42 days, observed-to-expected ratios were 3.79 and 2.34 after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination, respectively, and less than 1 (not significant) after BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccination within both postvaccination periods.

“The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices preferentially recommends that individuals aged 18 years and older receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine rather than the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine when both types of COVID-19 vaccine are available,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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