The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has listed a nerve disorder as a ‘very rare’ side-effect of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University.
In an official statement, the EMA revealed that 833 people out of 592 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine administered worldwide suffered a rare neurological disorder known as ‘Guillain-Barre syndrome.’
The risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus vaccine is 1 in 10,000, the EMA noted, adding that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications outweigh any associated risks.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Weakness and tingling in the extremities are usually the first symptoms that can quickly spread and paralyze the whole body.
The EMA has already listed Guillain-Barre syndrome as a side effect of the single-dose Coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which is based on the same adenovirus vector technology as AstraZeneca.
Earlier this year, Coronavirus vaccines of AstraZeneca and J&J were linked with a rare type of blood clotting in the brain known as Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST).
Many countries across the world, mostly in Europe, temporarily paused the use of AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines as a precautionary measure after a number of recipients suffered blood clots and brain hemorrhages following vaccine administration.
Days after the revelation, European Commission (EC) decided that the supply contracts of the UK-based AstraZeneca and the US-based J&J will not be extended once they expire at the end of 2021.