Neurological side effects
Although SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects your respiratory system, there’s been some current evidence indicating a minor risk of acute neurological disorders as well, resulting in various complications.
Extremely rare neurological circumstances have also been linked to COVID-19 vaccines, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, transverse myelitis, and Bell’s palsy.
Researchers at the University of Oxford recently led a study investigating these very rare occasions by taking real-world data from over 32 million healthcare records of vaccinated individuals in England. The data included 2 million people with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test.
The team of scientists calculated the risk of developing neurological complications within a month of the first dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines or within 28 days of a positive PCR test.
The findings showed a low risk of Bell’s palsy and Guillain–Barré syndrome after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. There was also an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke following the first dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech version.
The results also estimated 60 excess cases of hemorrhagic stroke per 10 million people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 123 cases of encephalitis, meningitis, and myelitis per 10 million people with a covid infection.
Results even estimated 38 cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome per 10 million people receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine and 145 cases per 10 million individuals after a positive covid test.
Professor Carol Coupland from the University of Nottingham says that this analysis provides critical information regarding which neurological conditions could potentially be linked with COVID-19 vaccinations.