Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare but serious immune-mediated neurological condition characterized by damage to the peripheral nervous system. Two-thirds of cases of GBS are diagnosed following infection; however, vaccination has also been linked to GBS pathogenesis. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to establish the prevalence of GBS following vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, describe the clinical and neurophysiological characteristics, and identify potential determinants. A systematic review of the literature regarding post-vaccination GBS was conducted using the PubMed database. Seventy papers were included. The pooled prevalence of GBS after vaccination against COVID-19 per has been established to be 8.1 (95% CI 30-220) per 1,000,000 vaccinations. Vaccination with vector vaccines - but not mRNA - has been associated with an increased risk of GBS. More than 80% of the patients developed GBS within 21 days following the first dose of the vaccination. The interval between the vaccination and GBS was shorter in patients who were vaccinated with mRNA versus vector vaccines (9.7±6.7 days versus 14.2±6.6 days). Epidemiological findings regarding post-vaccination GBS revealed a higher prevalence in males and people between the ages of 40 and 60 years, with a mean age of 56.8±16.1 years. The most common type was the acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy type. Most cases responded well to treatment. In conclusion, vaccination against COVID-19 with vector vaccines seems to increase the risk of GBS. GBS occurring following vaccination does differ in characteristics from GBS during the pre-COVID-19 era.

  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • COVID-19
  • Safety