Eleven Cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome Linked to AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Reported in India and UK
Rare neurological disorder observed in individuals post-vaccination
In a concerning development, eleven individuals who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological disorder. The cases were reported in two separate studies conducted in India and the UK, raising questions about potential side effects of the vaccine.
The first study, conducted in a medical center in Kerala, India, revealed that seven individuals out of 1.2 million vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine developed GBS. The second study, carried out in Nottingham, UK, reported four cases among approximately 700,000 vaccine recipients in the region.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system, leading to muscle weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis. What makes these cases unique is the prominent facial weakness observed in all eleven individuals, which is a variant of GBS rarely seen in such a high frequency.
The studies, published in the Annals of Neurology, highlight that the frequency of GBS cases in the areas where the incidents were reported was estimated to be up to ten times higher than expected. Additionally, the presence of facial weakness on both sides of the face, which typically occurs in less than 20 percent of GBS cases, suggests a potential pattern associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The authors of the UK study, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, emphasized that although the vaccines are generally safe, they observed these cases of facial weakness and paraesthesias variant of GBS occurring within three weeks of receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Health authorities and vaccine experts are closely monitoring the situation to assess any potential risks associated with the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to note that GBS is an extremely rare side effect, and the benefits of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 still outweigh the risks.