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Teen Became Sick With Guillian-Barre Syndrome After Receiving H1N1 Shot

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Jordan McFarland, a 14-year-old Virginia native, is the sixth person to come down with Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) after receiving an H1N1 vaccination. Jordan, a high school athlete, went to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia after a week of severe headaches, muscle spasms, and weakness in his legs. He is still struggling to walk and will likely need the assistance of a walker for 4-6 weeks plus intensive physical therapy. However, Jordan is expected to fully recover in time.

Jordan is one of the first people to develop Guillian-Barre after receiving an H1N1 vaccination. According to Dr. Claudia J. Vellozi, deputy director for immunization safety with the Centers for Disease Control, Jordan’s GBS is only the sixth case reported since October 6. Furthermore, officials at Inova Fairfax Hospital do not dispute that Jordan has GBS, but refuse to comment on his condition as related to the H1N1 shot because they do not want to create unnecessary fear or panic in the public.

Despite the fact that Jordan and his family believe he suffered GBS as a result of the H1N1 vaccination, Dr. Vellozi maintains that there is no clear link between the H1N1 shot and GBS. She states: “[w]e know that GBS and other illnesses occur routinely in the U.S.”. In fact, she noted that 80 to 120 cases of GBS are reported each week in the general population. Moreover, while any side effect can be devastating for an individual, the H1N1 vaccine is much less risky than the H1N1 virus itself.

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  1. Oatmeal says:
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    I work on a physical rehabilitation unit at a hospital near my home. We had a patient with GBS a while back. The main cause of this patients GBS was a type A flu vaccination that had been taken. She was paralyzed from head to toe and is now confined to a wheelchair for the most part. She is able to stand at times but not for long periods of time. My feelings on the flu vaccinations, whether it be for type A flu or for type B (H1N1), is that it is a risk you have to be willing to take. Several people have died from the H1N1 virus and that in itself is a tragedy. I, myself, have decided to not partake in the H1N1 vaccinations. I feel that the vaccination is too new, whether they say it was around in the 60’s or not, to take at this point. Every vaccination has a possible side effect involved in taking it but GBS is not something that I am willing to take a risk on. If you want to learn more about GBS go to
    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/detail_gbs.htm

    This is simply a decision you have to make for yourself. I would recommend for you to do some serious research about the possible side effects of the H1N1 vaccination before taking it. It’s your body, your choice. As for me and my household, we will not be taking it.

    God Bless Jordan McFarland and his family. I pray that he has a speedy recovery and no long term effects of the GBS. You are in my prayers.