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People with MS Not at Greater Risk for Guillain Barré Syndrome from J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

July 13, 2021

The benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks even with a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On July 12, the FDA requested that Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J & J) add a warning to its COVID-19 vaccine Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers regarding the risk of a potential side effect known as Guillain Barré Syndrome:

“Guillain Barré syndrome (a neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis) has occurred in some people who have received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. In most of these people, symptoms began within 42 days following receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low.”

People with MS are not at increased risk for Guillain Barré Syndrome after receiving the J & J COVID-19 vaccine. The Society’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group will continue monitoring the safety reports from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide guidance.

The National MS Society provides information about COVID-19 and MS in its COVID-19 Resource Center.

En Español:

Las personas con esclerosis múltiple no tienen mayor riesgo del síndrome de Guillain-Barré debido a la vacuna J&J contra el COVID-19

13 de julio de 2021

Los beneficios de la vacunación contra el COVID-19 continúan superando los riesgos, incluso ante una nueva advertencia de la Dirección de Alimentos y Medicamentos (Food and Drug Administration o FDA). El 12 de julio, la FDA solicitó que Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J & J) agregue una advertencia a su Hoja Informativa para Profesionales de Salud sobre la Autorización de Uso de Emergencia de la vacuna COVID-19 respecto al riesgo de potenciales efectos secundarios, como el síndrome de Guillain-Barré:

“El síndrome de Guillain-Barré (un trastorno neurológico en el que el sistema immune del cuerpo daña las células de los nervios y causa debilidad muscular y, a veces, parálisis) ha ocurrido en algunas personas a quienes se les puso la vacuna Janssen contra el COVID-19. En la mayoría de dichas personas, los síntomas empezaron 42 días después de que se les puso la vacuna Janssen contra el COVID-19. La probabilidad de que esto ocurra es muy baja”.

Las personas con esclerosis múltiple no tienen mayor riesgo del síndrome de Guillain-Barré tras recibir la vacuna J & J contra el COVID-19. El Grupo Asesor sobre la Vacuna contra el COVID-19 de la Sociedad continuará al tanto de los informes de seguridad de la FDA y el Centro de Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention y CDC), y hará recomendaciones.

La Sociedad Nacional de Esclerosis Múltiple proporciona información sobre el COVID-19 y la esclerosis múltiple en su Centro de Recursos sobre el COVID-19.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


© 2021 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.