Paralyzing Fear of Paralysis Was Misguided

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The CDC reported yesterday that the vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus presented no greater threat than previous years seasonal flu vaccines in terms of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).

The H1N1 vaccine is as safe as a regular flu vaccine, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. It did not cause a significant increase in the incidence of GBS, which is an extraordinarily rare complication. The fear of the H1N1 vaccine is based on the fact that the 1976 H1N1 vaccine was linked to a slightly increased number of GBS cases, so the association got into the media zeitgeist and became the subject discussed last year.