Eleven people who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine have developed a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome, clinicians in India and England have reported in two separate studies.
While seven cases were reported from a medical centre in Kerala, where about 1.2 million people were administered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, known as Covishield in India, four were reported from Nottingham, UK, in an area in which approximately 700,000 (7 lakh) people received the jab.
In Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system –the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord.
All 11 had received the Covid preventive 10-22 days earlier. In Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system –the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord.
The two studies, published in the journal Annals of Neurology on June 10, describe an unusual variant of GBR characterised by prominent facial weakness. The frequency of GBS from the areas where the cases were reported was estimated to be up to 10 times greater than expected, the authors of the two studies said.
The frequency of facial weakness on both sides of the face, which typically occurs in less than 20 per cent of GBS cases, suggests a pattern associated with the vaccination, according to the research authors.
“While SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are very safe, we report four cases of the bifacial weakness with paraesthesias variant of GBS occurring within three weeks of vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine,” said the authors of the UK study from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.