Adjuvanted vaccines used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic did not increase the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome substantially, if at all, finds a large Europe-wide study published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to respond to the vaccine.
The study provides reassurance about potential risks of adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccines. It also exemplifies the use of a newly available infrastructure in Europe, which may help to provide reliable risk assessments related to future concerns.
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disorder in which a person's own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
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Journal article: Guillain-Barré syndrome and adjuvanted pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 vaccine: multinational case-control study in Europe