Can Vaccines Cause CIDP?

In today’s world, there is more and more controversy surrounding the safety of receiving various vaccines. Whether adults or children, many people feel that while vaccines may offer protection against various illnesses and diseases, they may also come with some unexpected adverse side effects that can lead to debilitating conditions, including Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). Though health professionals are divided on this issue, it seems there may be certain vaccines that can lead to the onset of CIDP. 

What is CIDP? 

CIDP is classified as an autoimmune disease due to it being a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. As a result, a person’s arms and/or legs become weakened or paralyzed. A condition that is chronic and long-lasting, its symptoms come on very slowly, and can even disappear for a period of time, making it appear as if the person has recovered. However, in most cases this recovery is short-lived, since the symptoms will often return. 

Which Vaccines Can Cause CIDP? 

There is much discussion as to whether CIDP is in fact caused by some individuals receiving various types of vaccines. Numerous patients have been documented as having had CIDP following the administration of a vaccine. According to medical professionals who have studied the latest data, the vaccines most often associated with the onset of CIDP in patients are the Hepatitis-B vaccine, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine, Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus shot, and the Seasonal Influenza vaccine, more commonly known as the Flu Shot. 

How Do These Vaccines Cause CIDP? 

According to researchers, since CIDP is classified as an autoimmune disorder, it appears as if the above-mentioned vaccines may sometimes have the unintended effect of causing the body’s own immune system to turn against a person. As a result, the body’s natural defense systems, antibodies and lymphocytes, suddenly start to attack body tissue that is perfectly healthy. When this happens, the nervous system is severely damaged, leading to muscle weakness or paralysis. 

How Common is CIDP? 

Fortunately, CIDP is not a condition that occurs very often. According to statistics from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, CIDP is estimated to affect 5-7 people per every 100,000 individuals. While it can affect people at any age, it is most prevalent in those ages 50 or over, and has been found to affect males twice as much as females. 

How Quickly is CIDP Diagnosed After a Vaccine? 

With most patients who have been diagnosed with CIDP having reported an onset of symptoms within less than one month, it can vary from patient to patient. Because of this, some vaccine and disease experts believe the possibility exists many individuals may have already had underlying health issues that led to the condition, rather than having it be the result of a vaccine they received. However, there have been numerous individuals who have successfully litigated cases involving the onset of CIDP after having received a vaccine, so there is of course still plenty of room for discussion. 

While researchers will point to the fact that millions of these vaccines are administered annually to people who experience few if any side effects, there does still appear to be some evidence demonstrating that some people who receive these vaccines do develop CIDP. However, due to the complexities associated with this issue, more research will need to be conducted before a final determination is made by experts. In the meantime, the debate will continue.


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