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H1N1 Flu Vaccine Not Linked to Risk of Paralysis, Researchers Say

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.  

Although in the past there has been some concern that flu vaccines may increase the risk of this condition, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that people in five European countries who received the H1N1 vaccine in 2009 were at no greater risk of Guillain-Barré as those who did not receive the shot.  

Furthermore, the authors from Erasmus University Medical Center estimate, based on their results, that the actual risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome is less than three cases for every one million individuals protected by the vaccination.  

Authors of the accompanying editorial write that although the H1N1 stand-alone vaccine is no longer being used, “data on their safety are relevant to current clinical practice because the H1N1 strain in the pandemic vaccine has been incorporated into the currently recommended trivalent seasonal vaccine.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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