Unusual Variant of Guillain-Barré Syndrome Linked to COVID Vaccines

Experts call for relationship between adenovirus vector vaccines and GBS to be studied. Medpage Today, June 22, 2021.


Two reports detailed cases of an unusual variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) associated with the AstraZeneca adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccine.

One paper reviewed four cases from Nottingham, England; the other discussed seven cases from a regional medical center in Kerala, India. Both were published in Annals of Neurology.


All cases occurred in people who had received the vaccine 10 to 22 days earlier.

GBS in these cases was characterized by "a disproportionately frequent and severe bilateral facial paresis," observed Seward Rutkove, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Rebecca Betensky, PhD, of New York University School of Global Public Health in New York City, in an invited commentary.


Given these reports, plus cases of GBS with prominent bilateral facial weakness in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, "the relationship between this illness and these two adenovirus vector vaccines should be investigated further," Rutkove and Betensky wrote.


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