Today: May 26, 2024
Today: May 26, 2024

Elderly at risk? CDC investigates RSV vaccines linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome 

Share This
LA Post: Elderly at risk? CDC investigates RSV vaccines linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome 
April 01, 2024
Sowjanya P - LA Post

Just when everyone was popping the champagne over these two new RSV vaccines getting the green light, a major buzzkill rolled in. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now examining a possible link between these newly authorized shots and an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). This uncommon neurological disorder leads to the immune system of the body attacking its own nerves. This concerning development has created significant worries regarding the safety of these vaccines, especially for the elderly who are the main focus group.

At the center of this storm are concerning facts revealed at a recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting. Reports indicate concerning increases in instances of Guillain-Barré syndrome among individuals who received RSV vaccines manufactured by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) flagged a jaw-dropping 35 instances – 18 tied to Pfizer's Abrysvo and 16 to GSK's Arexvy. Shockingly, one death: a 70-year-old man passed after developing GBS post-Arexvy injection.

The CDC confirmed 23 of these VAERS cases by mid-February, all occurring within 22 days of vaccination. The toll was harrowing—15 stemming from Pfizer's product, 8 from GSK's. An alarming trend also emerged: 14 males struck versus only 9 females.

Respected voices are sounding alarms over this unfolding crisis. "23 GBS cases so shortly after RSV vaccination is hardly a 'small signal' given VAERS' notorious underreporting issues," warns Brian Hooker of Children's Health Defense, underscoring the system captures just a fraction of adverse events.

Ominously, the CDC's own Vaccine Safety Datalink hints at a "potential increased Guillain-Barré syndrome risk" from GSK's Arexvy, though more study is needed. Projections are staggering – 10 estimated GBS cases per 1 million Arexvy doses versus 25 per 1 million Pfizer doses.

In a controversial move, the CDC still backs using both for ages 60-plus given RSV's burden in that group. Critics argue such a stance exemplifies plummeting safety standards in the post-COVID vaccine era.

To the uninitiated, GBS is a nightmare scenario where the immune system turns traitor, attacking nerve fibers. It often begins with subtle weakness or tingling that escalates to full-body paralysis, potentially leaving one unable to breathe unassisted. Though many recover, others endure years-long marathons fighting to regain basic functions – recoveries deferred in limbos of relentless suffering.

This potential vaccine-GBS connection echoes past controversies over other shots like those for COVID-19, shingles, and flu, which raised similar risk concerns. In 2021, the FDA mandated that J&J's COVID products carry a GBS warning post-vaccination spikes.

As this probe intensifies, a tsunami of disquiet floods the vaccine safety realm. Detractors condemn rushed development, accusing regulators of compromising rigorous testing – jeopardizing the vulnerable: elderly, immunocompromised, children. They profess this violates medicine's prime edict: first, do no harm.

While the CDC and drugmakers reaffirm safety monitoring commitments, this firestorm clouds the RSV rollout. Stringent safeguard advocates urge radical transparency, independent, robust studies, and unsparing reevaluation of risk-benefit analyses – all in deference to GBS's ruinous toll.

This gripping saga unfolds against a backdrop of spiraling trepidation over society's boundless immunization ambitions. As we navigate these boiling waters, unpalatable truths emerge—human wellbeing must remain medicine's lodestar, our compass fixed on upholding that sacred "first, do no harm" principle. Only in doing so might the marvels of modern medicine stand unstained by unintended consequences, and the sanctity of life is elevated as paramount.

Seminal advances often gestate amid upheaval's throes. Such eras try the temper of our convictions. We must find the mettle to confront unvarnished realities and chart new paths rooted in reverence for life and our solemn public health charge.

As this reckoning penumbra stretches ever outward, a clarion summons change. Old paradigms strain under new knowledge's mass. Entrenched dogmas wither, their flaws bared by scrutiny's scouring light. We face a pivotal crossroads, and the path we take today will reverberate for generations to come.

Some counsel blind obedience to the status quo, quashing the rising chorus through bromides. Yet history rings with civilizations crumbling beneath hubris, catalyzed by refusals to adapt and evolve with new discoveries.

It is a daunting task, fraught with uncertainty and no small dread. Yet we must shoulder this burden, lest we consign ourselves and generations unborn to stagnation's shackles, squandering boundless human potential.

In this crucible, we must temper our resolve, steeling against complacency's siren song and the path of least resistance. This crucible demands moral courage - standing firm against scorn, charting courses by life's sanctity and truth's unflinching pursuit, never mere expediency.  

For only through such steadfast resolve might we forge a future where medicine's miracles stand unstained by unintended blight, where life itself reigns supreme, and where human ingenuity uplifts all humankind, never pursuing gain at suffering's cost.

The road ahead brims with pitfalls but promises a prize of incomparable worth—a world where science and medicine coexist with wisdom, progress never demands human anguish, and our public health charge upholds its sacred vows.

The path is illuminated if its contours are shadowed by uncertainty. It demands courage, resilience, and truth's unflinching pursuit, no matter how disruptive. It will strain our resolve yet proffers hope for a brighter destiny – life's sanctity supreme, human potential uplifting the greater good.

So weighty the choice, so profound its reverberations—will we rise heroically or cower, consigning all to chance's wiles and those prizing expediency over ethics? Long and arduous the path, yet its prize outstrips all—a future where wisdom tempers science's marvels, where anguish never purchases progress, and where our public health vows remain inviolable.

Popular

Charges still years away in London's deadly 2017 housing blaze

Criminal charges over a blaze that ravaged London's Grenfell Tower in 2017, killing 72 people, remain years away, with 58 people and 19 firms and organisations

Charges still years away in London's deadly 2017 housing blaze

LA police probe how 'Friends' star Matthew Perry obtained lethal ketamine dose

Los Angeles homicide detectives and federal agents are investigating how "Friends" star Matthew Perry obtained the high dose of the powerful prescription drug

LA police probe how 'Friends' star Matthew Perry obtained lethal ketamine dose

Parents of German-Israeli woman whose body found in Gaza thankful to have a grave

German-Israeli Shani Louk's father says that finally laying his daughter to rest will be a gift after her body was recovered from

Parents of German-Israeli woman whose body found in Gaza thankful to have a grave

Uvalde, Texas, to pay $2 million to families of school shooting victims

The city of Uvalde has reached a $2 million settlement with families of the victims of a 2022 mass shooting at a public school in the Texas city, one of their lawyers said on Wednesday,

Uvalde, Texas, to pay $2 million to families of school shooting victims

UN migration agency estimates more than 670 killed in Papua New Guinea landslide

The International Organization for Migration has increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea to more than 670

UN migration agency estimates more than 670 killed in Papua New Guinea landslide

Related

Lilly invests further $5.3 billion in new Indiana site as obesity drug demand soars

Lilly invests further $5.3 billion in new Indiana site as obesity drug demand soars

Chile accuses volunteer firefighter and ex-forestry official with causing huge fire that killed 137

Chile accuses volunteer firefighter and ex-forestry official with causing huge fire that killed 137

Trump, accustomed to friendly crowds, confronts repeated booing during Libertarian convention speech

Trump, accustomed to friendly crowds, confronts repeated booing during Libertarian convention speech

Groups fight California attorney general's document demands in plastics pollution probe

Groups fight California attorney general's document demands in plastics pollution probe
- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer