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AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Linked to Rare Neurological Disorder in India, UK | India News

NEW DELHI: Eleven people who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine developed a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome, reported doctors in India and England in two separate studies.
While seven cases were reported at a medical center in Kerala, where approximately 1.2 million people received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, known as Covishield in India, four were reported in Nottingham, UK, in an area where approximately 700,000 (7 lakh) people received the jab.
All 11 had received the Covid preventive 10-22 days before.
In Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord.
The two studies, published in the Annals of Neurology on June 10, describe an unusual variant of GBR characterized by prominent facial weakness.
The frequency of GBS in the areas where the cases were reported was estimated to be up to 10 times higher than expected, the authors of the two studies said.
As of April 22, 2021, about 1.5 million people in three districts of Kerala had been vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines, the researchers noted, adding that more than 80 percent of these people (1.2 million ) received the preventive AstraZeneca.
In this population, during the period from mid-March to mid-April 2021, Aster Medcity researchers, Kochiand the Indo-American Brain and Spine Center, Vaikom, Kerala, observed seven GBS cases that occurred within two weeks of the first dose of vaccination.
All seven patients developed severe GBS, the researchers said.
The frequency of GBS was 1.4 to 10 times higher than expected in this period for a population of this magnitude, they said.
The frequency of facial weakness on both sides of the face, which generally occurs in less than 20 percent of GBS cases, suggests a pattern associated with vaccination, according to the research authors.
“While the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are very safe, we report four cases of bifacial weakness with GBS variant paresthesia occurring within three weeks of vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.” the UK authors said. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust study.
“We suggest surveillance for cases of bifacial weakness with GBS variant paresthesias after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and that post-vaccination surveillance programs ensure robust data capture of this outcome, to assess causality.” they added.
Although the benefits of vaccination substantially outweigh the risk of this relatively rare outcome (5.8 per million), the researchers noted that clinicians should be alert to this possible adverse event.

Times of India