Rare neurological disorder documented following AstraZeneca vaccine in India, England

NEW DELHI: In two separate articles in the Annals of Neurology, clinicians in India and England report cases of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome after individuals were vaccinated against COVID-19. All the eleven cases were among people who had received that vaccine 10-22 days earlier.

Seven cases were reported from a regional medical center in Kerala, India, where nearly 1.2 million people were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine till April 22. The cases occurred within two weeks of the first dose of vaccination."Six out of the seven patients progressed to areflexic quadriplegia and required mechanical ventilatory support," said Boby Varkey Maramattom, from the Department of Neurology, Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala.

"The frequency of GBS was 1.4 to 10 fold higher than that expected in this period for a population of this magnitude. In addition, the frequency of bilateral facial weakness, which typically occurs in less than 20 per cent of GBS cases, suggests a pattern associated with the vaccination," he added.

Four cases were reported from Nottingham, England, in which approximately 700,000 people received the same vaccine. These were characterised by bifacial weakness with a paraesthesias variant of GBS occurring within three weeks of vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

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