Nerve disorder added as rare side effect of AstraZeneca Covid vax
New Delhi, Oct 24: A rare nerve disorder that affects the feet, hands and limbs has been added to the list of possible side effects of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine by UK regulators, the Daily Mail reported.
Guillain-Barre syndrome, which sees the immune system go haywire and start to attack nerve cells, was added by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Most people who suffer from the autoimmune disorder make a full recovery, but one in five can be left with long-term problems such as difficulty walking and one in 20 die, the report said.
The European Medicines Agency said last month that 833 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome had been reported worldwide out of 592 million doses dished out.
The benefits of the vaccine still far outweigh the risks, regulators have stressed.
The EMA previously said they considered it "at least a reasonable possibility" that Guillain-Barre is a side effect of the Oxford-made jab, the report added.
The regulator has already listed the condition to the single-shot dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which uses the same technology as the AstraZeneca jab.
Up to September, there were 393 UK cases after vaccination with the jab but the watchdog is not certain the condition is occurring more often than it normally would, the report added.
It is not clear how many of these led to long-term complications, but three Britons have died.
The MHRA added there have been 44 suspected cases following administration of the Pfizer jab, and one death.
There have also been three cases after inoculation with the Moderna jab.
Professor Ian Douglas, a pharmacoepidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the benefits of the vaccine still vastly outweighed the risks.