Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory group said benefits of COVID-19 vaccines “far outweigh” potential risks amid ongoing review of reports of a nervous disorder rare in a small fraction of J&J jab recipients. However, given the possible link, a new update will advise patients with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome to seek out mRNA vaccines.
CDC’s Dr Hannah Rosenblum, who gave a presentation at the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting on Thursday, said that “this assessment demonstrates that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh potential risks “.
Dr Nicola Klein of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center noted eight confirmed cases of GBS after vaccination against J&J against a background of more than 345,000 doses administered, according to data collected via the Vaccine Safety Datalink. Almost all of the confirmed cases occurred within 21 days of vaccination and were in adults aged 18 to 64 years. The researchers noted a reporting rate of 8.1 cases of GBS per million doses of J&J administered, compared with 1.1 such cases after mRNA vaccination, compared to an expected 1.6 cases of GBS per million. doses administered, according to data collected through a national surveillance system, VAERS.
GUILLAIN-BARRÉ SYNDROME REPORTED IN FEW OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE BENEFICIARIES: WHAT IS RARE NERVOUS DISORDER?
The news comes after the FDA on July 12 announced 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barré cases against the backdrop of approximately 12.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson administered. Of the total, 95 cases were serious and involved hospitalization, with one death reported in a 57-year-old man with underlying health problems.
The FDA has revised the information sheets that come with the vaccine to reflect an increased risk of disease within 42 days of vaccination. The updated warning advised seeing a doctor immediately if you experience post-vaccination symptoms such as’ feelings of weakness or tingling (especially in the legs or arms) worsening or spreading to other parts of the body. body, difficulty walking, difficulty with facial movements including speaking, chewing or swallowing, double vision or inability to move your eyes, or difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function. “
FDA WARNS OF POTENTIAL LINK OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID-19 VACCINE TO RARE DISEASE
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) occurs when a person’s immune system and inflammation damage nerves, causing muscle weakness and, in some severe cases, paralysis, according to the CDC. It is a rare neurological disorder that affects 3,000 to 6,000 Americans per year, according to the FDA.
Triggers for the syndrome include a recent respiratory or gastrointestinal infection several weeks before symptoms, or other viral infections such as the flu and Zika virus. The first symptoms usually involve weakness and tingling in the extremities, according to Mayo Clinic, which notes no known cure and an estimated death rate ranging from 4% to 7%. Treatment usually requires hospitalization and involves plasma exchange and antibody infusions to relieve symptoms and speed recovery.
Symptoms can last from weeks to years, and although most recover completely, some end up with permanent nerve damage.