At least 13 Israelis suffered facial paralysis after being given the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, a month after the FDA reported similar problems, but said they were not related to the injection.
Israel has been praised for its rapid and effective mass vaccination program, which has vaccinated a staggering 20% of its population since the campaign began at the end of December.
But for a handful of Israelis, the initiative has led to some unexpected health concerns. The Israeli Ynet website, citing the Ministry of Health, reported that at least 13 people reported mild facial paralysis after receiving the Pfizer / BioNTech injection, citing the Ministry of Health, adding that officials believe the number of these cases may be higher.
One person who had had side effects told Ynet, “For at least 28 hours, she walked around with her [facial paralysis].” “I can’t say it completely disappeared after that, but other than that, I had no other pain, except for a slight pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”
However, the anonymous person noted that the unpleasant reaction was a “rare thing” and stressed that it was “important” to vaccinate people. However, he acknowledged that he had not decided to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
The Israeli Ministry of Health stated that it is safe to give the second injection, provided that the facial paralysis passes and there are no long-lasting effects from the first blow. But some Israeli medical experts have chosen to ignore this warning.
Ynet quoted Professor Gallia Rahav, director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Center, who said she did not feel “comfortable” giving the second dose to a person who received the first stab and then suffered paralysis.
Nobody knows if this is related to the vaccine or not. That is why I will refrain from giving a second dose to anyone who becomes paralyzed after the first dose.
Last month, the FDA revealed that four participants reported that Bell’s palsy, a form of temporary facial paralysis, was reported during the third phase of Pfizer vaccine trials. All four cases involved individuals who had received an actual injection. There were no reports of paralysis among the control group that received a placebo.
The Food and Drug Administration reported a “numerical imbalance” of Bell’s palsy cases between vaccine and placebo groups. Still, it said there were no other “non-serious adverse events” that showed a similar pattern.
In the end, the US Medicines Regulatory Authority concluded that the problem “is in line with the expected base rate in the general population,” and added that there is no clear evidence linking the Coronavirus vaccine to the unpleasant medical condition. However, the agency recommended “monitoring hemiplegia cases, as the vaccine is deployed in larger numbers of the population.”