The neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis, has been listed as a “very rare” side effect of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by the European Medicines Agency. The Guillain-Barre syndrome disorder is a nerve inflammation that could cause temporary paralysis and difficulty in breathing.
This was made known in an EMA latest update during the week. The update stated that a causal relationship was “considered at least a reasonable possibility”.
This comes after a total of 833 cases of the syndrome had been reported worldwide by July 31, from about 592 million doses of the AstraZeneca “Vaxzevria” shot administered.
The EMA has maintained that the Guillain-Barre syndrome should be added to the product information as a side effect of Vaxzevria, even though the syndrome is a “very rare” side effect, and only occurs in one in 10,000 people.
According to the agency, a warning should be added to the information on the vaccine which informs people to seek medical attention if they feel symptoms and develop weakness or paralysis that can affect the chest and face.
In July, the EMA had listed Guillain-Barre syndrome as a “very rare” side effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses the same adenovirus technology as the AstraZeneca vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration had also warned in July of an increased risk of developing the neurological syndrome with Johnson & Johnson’s dose.
Despite this, EMA and US Food and Drug Administration have continued to stress that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the potential risks.