Associations of Guillain-Barré syndrome with coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination: Disproportionality analysis using the World Health Organization pharmacovigilance database

Jee Eun Kim, Jin Park, Young Gi Min, Yoon Ho Hong, Tae Jin Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vaccinations against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 which causes COVID-19 have been administered worldwide. We aimed to investigate associations of COVID-19 vaccination with the occurrence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We explored potential safety signals regarding the development of GBS using disproportionality analyses to compare COVID-19 vaccination with all adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports and influenza vaccines reported to VigiBase. As of October 15, 2021, a total of 2163 cases (0.13%) of GBS and its variants (including 46 cases of Miller-Fisher syndrome and 13 cases of Bickerstaff's encephalitis) were identified in entire ADR database after vaccination with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) or the two messenger RNA-based COVID-19 (BNT162b2; Pfizer and BioNTech) or mRNA-1273; Moderna) vaccines. The median time to onset of GBS after vaccination was around 2 weeks. The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and two messenger RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines demonstrated a higher risk for GBS against entire database (information component [IC]025 = 1.73 reporting odds ratio [ROR]025 = 3.51; IC025 = 1.07, ROR025 = 2.22, respectively). When compared with influenza vaccines, neither the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 nor mRNA-based vaccines were found to be associated with greater risks of GBS (IC025 = −1.84, ROR025 = 0.11; IC025 = −1.86, ROR025 = 0.06, respectively). Although potential safety signals associated with GBS COVID-19 vaccines have been identified, the risk of GBS from COVID-19 vaccines were low and did not surpass those of influenza vaccines; however, because of the heterogeneity of the sources of information in the WHO pharmacovigilance database, further epidemiological studies are warranted to confirm these observations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Peripheral Nervous System
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome variants
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • vaccination

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