The US Food and Drug Administration has warned people, specifically the recipients of the Janssen, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, against a rare neurological disease associated with the vaccine. The FDA announcement on Monday stated that Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19, can cause a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome.
However, the disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome is said to be extremely rare, but is potentially serious. As a result of reportage of some “adverse events” by Janssen, FDA added a side effect to the list on the vaccine.
According to the reports, the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome is increased during 42 days after vaccination. The symptoms to look for include experiencing weakness, tingling in arms and legs, double vision, difficulty walking, speaking, chewing, swallowing, or controlling your bladder or bowels.
FDA stated on Monday, “The FDA has evaluated the available information or the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and continues to find the known and potential benefits clearly outweigh the known and potential risks.” USA so far has reported 100 cases of the Guillain-Barré syndrome among the recipients of Janssen vaccine.
But, the authorities say that the evidence is “insufficient to establish a causal relationship,” said FDA.
On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson also gave a statement on the topic. The company said, “We strongly support raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of rare events to ensure they can be quickly identified and effectively treated.”
Johnsons & Johnson also mentioned, “Evidence has demonstrated that Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine offers protection against COVID-19 disease and prevents hospitalization and death, including in countries where viral variants are highly prevalent. A single-shot vaccine that provides this level of protection represents an important tool in the global fight against COVID-19, as we strive to help end this deadly pandemic.”
CDC explained that Guillain-Barré syndrome, as said before, is a rare neurological disorder, in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nerves damage cause by this disorder leads to muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
Nonetheless, the American medical authorities have suggested people to stay calm and not to worry as such diseases are commonly seen in the flu related vaccines. Dr. Vivek Cherian, an internal medicine physician affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System, stated, ““It’s not completely surprising because we have heard other associations (of Guillain-Barré syndrome), even with the flu vaccine in rare cases,”
Cherian told, “You don’t see these things in the clinical trials because probability-wise, they don’t show up … until you start vaccinating millions of people,”
Other than that, Dr. Robert Fox, staff neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis suggested, “After a person has an infection, there can be an immune system confusion where the immune system attacks the insolation, or myelin sheath, around the peripheral nerves,”