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Benefits Of COVID Vaccines Far Outweigh Rare Risk Of Facial Paralysis, Lancet Study Confirms

The researchers concluded that for every 1,00,000 people vaccinated with CoronaVac, an additional 4.8 people may develop Bell’s palsy, the sudden onset of one-sided facial paralysis

Benefits Of COVID Vaccines Far Outweigh Rare Risk Of Facial Paralysis, Lancet Study Confirms
Highlights
  • Bell's palsy is the sudden onset of one-sided facial paralysis
  • CoronaVac associated with 2.4 times increased risk of Bell's palsy: Study
  • Receiving BNT162b2 not associated with significantly increased risk: Study

Beijing: The beneficial effects of COVID-19 vaccines far outweigh the risk of facial paralysis on one side of the face known as Bell’s Palsy, confirms a large-scale population-based study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. The researchers from The University of Hong Kong found that for every 1,00,000 people vaccinated with inactivated vaccine, CoronaVac, an additional 4.8 people may develop the condition. Bell’s palsy is the sudden onset of one-sided facial paralysis. In the majority of cases, the condition resolves itself within six months without treatment and the chance of recovery is even higher if patients receive early treatment with corticosteroids, they said.

Also Read: Blood Clotting May Be A Root Cause Of Long COVID Syndrome: Study

Our study suggests a small increased risk of Bell’s palsy associated with CoronaVac vaccination, said study lead author Professor Ian Chi Kei Wong from The University of Hong Kong.

“Nevertheless, Bell’s palsy remains a rare, mostly temporary, adverse event. All evidence to date, from multiple studies, shows that the beneficial and protective effects of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh any risks,” Wong said.

A small number of cases of Bell’s palsy have been reported in clinical trials of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, but so far, analyses of the association have come to conflicting conclusions. In the US, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) did not consider there to be a clear causal association for the two mRNA vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna but recommends ongoing surveillance. However, acute partial facial paralysis is reported as a rare side effect of both the vaccines by the European Medicines Agency.

Current prescribing information for CoronaVac does not list Bell’s palsy as a rare adverse event. However, based on the findings from the study, approval has been obtained to include information on the potential association, the researchers said. The study analysed cases of Bell’s palsy related to the two approved vaccines in Hong Kong — CoronaVac and BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech).

Also Read: Explained: What Is A Breakthrough Infection And How To Prevent Catching COVID-19 After Getting Fully Vaccinated

The study used data from the Hong Kong drug regulatory authority pharmacovigilance system, which includes reports of adverse events logged by health professionals throughout the territory. Cases of Bell’s palsy were included in the analysis if they occurred within 42 days of the first or second vaccine dose, within the timeframe of the study.

Between February 23, 2021 and May 4, 2021, 28 clinically confirmed cases of Bell’s palsy were identified among the 451,939 individuals who received at least one dose of CoronaVac and 16 cases were identified among the 537,205 individuals who received at least a first dose of BNT162b2. By analysing data from 2010-2020, the researchers estimated the background risk of Bell’s palsy in Hong Kong — around 27 cases per 100,000 people, per year. Global estimates range from 15-30 cases per 100,000 people, per year, according to the researchers. The study found that receiving CoronaVac was associated with 2.4 times increased risk of Bell’s palsy whereas receiving BNT162b2 was not associated with a significantly increased risk.

Also Read: WHO Calls For ‘Moratorium’ On COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Until At Least September-End To Address Vaccination Disparity

The researchers concluded that for every 1,00,000 people vaccinated with CoronaVac, an additional 4.8 people may develop Bell’s palsy. For BNT162b2, the increased risk was equivalent to an additional 2 cases per 100,000 people vaccinated, they said. Further studies with a sufficient sample size are needed to evaluate the association between Bell’s palsy and BNT162b2. The authors noted that they cannot conclude a causal relationship between Bell’s palsy and vaccination in any individual cases from this study, and that the mechanism by which vaccination can — in very rare instances –lead to Bell’s palsy remains unclear. Other studies have identified rare cases of Bell’s palsy after other inactivated vaccines, such as influenza, they added.

Also Read: Mixing And Matching Of Vaccines Will Help Overcome Shortage: Dr Gagandeep Kang

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,00,62,413Cases
20,17,73,183Active
3,33,99,961Recovered
48,89,269Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,00,62,413 and 48,89,269 have died; 20,17,73,183 are active cases and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 4:08 am.

India

3,40,53,573 15,981Cases
2,01,6322,046Active
3,33,99,961 17,861Recovered
4,51,980 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,53,573 confirmed cases including 4,51,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,01,632 and 3,33,99,961 have recovered as on October 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,88,429 2,149

33,379 222

64,15,316 1,898

1,39,734 29

Kerala

48,38,811 8,867

95,349 1,072

47,16,728 9,872

26,734 67

Karnataka

29,82,869 470

9,700 93

29,35,238 368

37,931 9

Tamil Nadu

26,84,641 1,245

15,238 213

26,33,534 1,442

35,869 16

Andhra Pradesh

20,59,708 586

6,453 135

20,38,960 712

14,295 9

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,014 6

133 2

16,86,984 8

22,897

West Bengal

15,79,463 451

7,513 63

15,52,997 506

18,953 8

Delhi

14,39,337 26

327 10

14,13,921 36

25,089

Odisha

10,34,276 467

4,817 73

10,21,180 535

8,279 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,624 10

197 6

9,91,857 16

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,383 1

40 2

9,45,389 3

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,258 14

212 3

8,15,960 17

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,675 6

106 5

7,82,046 11

10,523

Haryana

7,71,049 14

116 11

7,60,884 3

10,049

Bihar

7,26,021 5

46 4

7,16,314 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,722 104

4,056 115

6,60,730 218

3,936 1

Assam

6,05,944 97

3,458 188

5,96,547 284

5,939 1

Punjab

6,01,992 21

228 6

5,85,224 25

16,540 2

Jharkhand

3,48,415 9

130 0

3,43,150 9

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,739 10

179 4

3,36,163 6

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,30,885 51

895 40

3,25,564 91

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,203 90

1,361 26

2,16,125 114

3,717 2

Goa

1,77,410 54

648 31

1,73,423 81

3,339 4

Puducherry

1,27,296 37

611 36

1,24,836 73

1,849

Manipur

1,22,545 113

1,444 0

1,19,208 109

1,893 4

Mizoram

1,11,651 932

13,316 285

97,955 1,211

380 6

Tripura

84,299 4

102 8

83,381 12

816

Meghalaya

82,815 81

893 1

80,490 79

1,432 1

Chandigarh

65,297 2

30 2

64,447 4

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,964 6

183 19

54,501 25

280

Sikkim

31,739 17

189 35

31,159 51

391 1

Nagaland

31,547 31

228 2

30,645 32

674 1

Ladakh

20,871 4

42 2

20,621 6

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,675

3 0

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

1 1

10,313 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641 1

9 1

7,503 2

129

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