COVID-19: J&J vaccine can heighten risk of rare neurological condition

The Guillain-Barré syndrome can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 14 July 2021

Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) vaccines for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may increase the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, warned the United States Food and Drug Administration. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare and dangerous neurological condition. The autoimmune disease can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.

About 13 million people or about 8 per cent of the fully vaccinated population in the US got the J&J vaccine. Out of this, 100 suspected cases of Guillain-Barré were identified by the FDA officials. Almost all of them required hospitalisation and one person died.

The cases were reported two weeks after vaccination and mostly in males aged 50 and above. About one person in 100,000 each year develops the condition and most of them eventually recover.

Other COVID-19 vaccines in the US, the Moderna and Pfizer have not shown this side effect. Earlier, the single-shot vaccine was issued a warning due to the increased risk of blood clots in those vaccinated. 

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