Guillain-Barré syndrome following the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: case report and review of reported cases

Neurol Sci. 2022 Feb;43(2):755-761. doi: 10.1007/s10072-021-05733-x. Epub 2021 Nov 18.


Background: Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has started in December 2019, millions of people have been infected all over the world. Vaccination is the most efficient tool to end this pandemic, but vaccine surveillance is necessary to identify side effects. Some studies have shown that neurological complications after COVID-19 vaccination are rare and dominated by demyelinating disease.

Case presentation: We present a case of a 67-year-old man who presented 7 days following his first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine a rapidly progressive ascending muscle weakness. The diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) was confirmed according to the clinical features, the albumino-cytological dissociation in the cerebrospinal fluid, and the electroneuromyography findings. The workup for all known infections associated with immune-mediated GBS was negative. The patient received treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin. Neurological examination 1 month after discharge showed full recovery and he regained his baseline functional status.

Conclusions: As far as we know, this is the first reported case in Tunisia. Although extremely rare, neurologists should remain vigilant for acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy after COVID-19 vaccination.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS); Neurological complications; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome* / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • BNT162 Vaccine