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Covid 19 Vs. Its Vaccines, The Likelihood Of Neurological Complications

More and more studies establish one fact; COVID 19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death.

The Food and Drug Administration clears a vaccine after different phases of trials to prove its safety and efficacy. But the speed at which these vaccines were manufactured brings one thing to light. The trials done in the field were not expansive enough to determine the likelihood of rare health issues.

Covid 19 Vs. Its Vaccines, The Likelihood Of Neurological Complications

A new study suggests that the likelihood of neurological complications is higher among those who tested positive for the disease than those who are inoculated. 

COVID 19 vaccines receive authorization after large-scale randomized trials in different phases. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, for instance, underwent 11000 tests in the US, Brazil, and UK. Furthermore, more than 43000 people participated in the trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Covid 19 Vs. Its Vaccines, The Likelihood Of Neurological Complications

Even after these large trials, manufacturers of these vaccines could not detect certain rare complications. These, however, happen to less than one in every 10000 vaccine recipients.

More and more people are getting inoculated against SARS-CoV-2 nowadays. This stresses the significance of ongoing risk-benefit evaluation of the vaccines available at present. Scientists are now focusing increasingly on the rare complications of these shots.

The increasing likelihood of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis upon receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca is one such instance. Certain countries have restricted the use of this vaccine among low-risk people. They are waiting for more information in the matter.

Researchers in the United Kingdom completed such a study among the people of the UK. They compared the risk of neurological complications among people infected with COVID 19 with those who have received one dose of either the Pfizer or the Oxford vaccine. They published their findings in the journal named Nature.

SARS-CoV-2 mostly affects the lungs. But studies suggest that this virus may attack even the nervous system. Vaccines too cause neurological complications even though in rare instances. They included transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and Bell’s palsy.

Scientists at the University of Oxford undertook the latest study in the field.
They analyzed the real-world data from more than 32000000 patients from records available in healthcare information systems. The study included 2000000people infected with the virus. 90% of the patients had tested positive before receiving the vaccination against the same.

Researchers analyzed the possibility of neurological complications within four weeks of receiving either the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine and within the same number of days after a PCR test that declared them positive for the virus.

The study found out that after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine, the risk of the complications like Guillain–Barré syndrome and Bell’s palsy increased. But the severity was less. It also indicated a low but increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke upon receiving the Pfizer shot.

According to the authors, the risks remain 60 people for every 10000000 people. There also exists the likelihood of encephalitis meningitis and myelitis. But they are for 123 per every 10000000 people. The Oxford vaccine also carries the risk of Guillain–Barré syndrome. But it is 35 per every 10000000 people. And for those infected with COVID 19, the same is 135 for the same number.

The researchers, using the data gathered from Scotland, duplicated their findings. They could establish that the Oxford vaccine increases the likelihood of Guillain–Barré syndrome. But the threat is severe for those who get infected with the virus than those who receive any vaccine.

The authors also admit that their research had certain limitations. They included the following:

  • They gathered the data only from UK. Scotland too was included in the second phase.
  • They analyzed only those hospitalized. This implies that those with mild or moderate symptoms were overlooked.

Even then, scientists have to be alert and watch out for these neurological complications, they say.

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