Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine – BTN162b2 might cause bell’s palsy.
A new report from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators has found that four volunteers for Pfizer’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine developed Bell’s palsy after receiving vaccines, media reported.
What kind of disorder is bell’s palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes temporary paralysis of the facial muscles. This can happen when the nerve that controls the muscles in your face becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed. It means sudden weakness or paralysis of your facial muscles. This causes one side of your face to fall along with the included mouth. The good thing is that in most cases this weakness is temporary and improves dramatically over the weeks. However, you know that recovery can sometimes take up to six months. Some people will have it for life, but for most people, it gets better. The causes can be viruses or other things. But the big question is: Did the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine cause Bell’s palsy?
What do experts say about this likely side effect?
The FDA added in its report that they know what caused Bell’s palsy in the four volunteers. According to media reports, FDA regulators have asked health experts to continuously monitor volunteers who participated in the Covid-19 vaccine trials. In fact, according to information on the FDA website, in the Pfizer trial, 4 participants in the vaccine trial reported bell’s palsy cases and none received the placebo. So the 4 people who had Bell’s palsy were part of the vaccine receiving group.
The cases occurred on days 3, 9, 37, and 48 after they got vaccinated. There has been some resolution in some cases in terms of symptoms. They say that the observed frequency of Bell’s palsy reported in the vaccinated group is consistent with the expected baseline rate in the general population. This means that the number of people with Bell’s palsy out of the total number of people in the vaccine group in the trial is no different from the typical number of people with Bell’s palsy in the general population.
In other words, the incidence does not appear to be higher in this group of people who received the vaccine. Therefore, the FDA says there is no clear basis to conclude a causal relationship between the Pfizer vaccine and bell’s palsy. But of course, the FDA will recommend monitoring Bell’s palsy cases with the vaccine rolling out to larger populations. In other words, we need to keep studying and follow along to see if anything changes.
Previously, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla seemed to doubt the vaccine’s effectiveness. During his interview with NBC’s LESTER Holt, he said: “I think this is something that needs to be looked at. We’re not sure at this point with what we know.”
This comes at a time when many countries, especially wealthy ones, are competing to obtain Covid-19 vaccines for their populations. According to previous reports, some countries including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, among others, have obtained enough Covid-19. They will inoculate their entire population repeatedly, leaving the lower intermediate countries in short supply. All over the world, many are still worried. We hope that a safe vaccine will arrive very soon for everyone. However, we must continue to keep a social distance. Besides we have to avoid unnecessary travel, stay out of groups, use hand sanitizer, and wash our hands.