COVID-19 Vaccinations Could Lead to Developing Bell’s Palsy: Study

COVID-19 Vaccinations Could Lead to Developing Bell’s Palsy: Study
A person holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial in Aurora, Colo., on Dec. 15, 2020. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully
5/2/2023
Updated:
5/2/2023
0:00

People who received COVID-19 vaccinations were more likely to develop Bell’s palsy than those given a placebo, according to a review of multiple studies.

The review, published in the JAMA Network journal on April 27, looked at whether rates of Bell’s palsy were different between those who received a COVID-19 vaccination and those who were given a placebo.

Bell’s palsy is a temporary paralysis or weakness on one side of the face, with the condition usually improving after a few weeks. The condition has been reported as an adverse event following COVID-19 vaccination. However, a causative relationship between the two has so far not been established. For the review, the researchers analyzed 50 studies.

In phase 3 trials of all four major vaccines that were approved and administered globally, the incidence of Bell’s palsy was found to be “significantly higher” in the vaccinated group compared to a placebo group, according to the review. The vaccines were manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.

A placebo is a treatment that does not contain any active ingredients, and participants in the test did not know whether they received a vaccine or a placebo.

“For the mRNA vaccine subgroup, there were significantly increased odds of Bell’s palsy in the vaccinated group compared with the placebo group … However, for the viral vector vaccine subgroup, the analysis yielded insignificant results,” the review said.

“This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests a higher incidence of Bell’s palsy among SARS-CoV-2–vaccinated vs placebo groups.”

Observational Studies Find No Association

However, observational studies found no association between the mRNA vaccines and Bell’s palsy.

“In the cohort studies, the analysis indicated no significant evidence of increased odds of Bell’s palsy in the vaccinated group compared with the unvaccinated group,” the review concluded.

The review looked at eight observational studies that reported Bell’s palsy as an adverse event following Pfizer and Moderna’s first or second dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Overall 13.5 million vaccinated individuals were compared to 13.5 million unvaccinated individuals.

When comparing 22.7 million individuals who received Pfizer vaccines against 22.9 million who received AstraZeneca vaccines, no significant difference was found regarding the odds of developing Bell’s palsy post-vaccination.

The team also compared 2.8 million individuals previously infected with COVID-19 against 37.9 million vaccinated individuals. The risk of developing Bell’s palsy after the infection was found to “significantly” surpass the risk of developing Bell’s palsy after vaccination. Infected individuals had a 3.23 times higher chance of Bell’s palsy than vaccinated people.

Dr. Meryl Nass, a board-certified internal medicine physician, biological warfare epidemiologist, and expert in anthrax, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “I identified this as a side effect of the mRNA COVID vaccines when they rolled out, on Dec. 17, 2020, based on information provided at the VRBPAC meetings for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, 2020 respectively,” referring to her blog post. VRBPAC is the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“While the rate of Bell’s palsy after vaccination was said then to be consistent with the expected background rate, I found it to be much higher,” Nass said.

She alleged that the Bell’s palsy “side effect must have been obvious to the regulators even before the vaccines rolled out,” but it could have been concealed from the public, even in legal documentation given to vaccine recipients under the formality of informed consent.

Medical Complications

In a study from January, researchers with the FDA stated that elderly people who took a Pfizer COVID-19 shot had a “small but statistically significant elevation” of Bell’s palsy post-vaccination. The study was conducted using Pfizer’s old booster shot, which is no longer available in the United States.

In addition to Bell’s palsy, COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause other medical issues.

In New Zealand, an analysis of health records showed that the Pfizer vaccine was tied to several adverse events.

Researchers found increased heart inflammation and a significant association between the vaccine and acute kidney injury among individuals aged 5 and older.

New Hampshire state Rep. Mike Belcher, a Republican, began suffering from ocular migraines after receiving a Pfizer vaccine in April 2021.

Just 12 hours after the shot, Belcher developed severe flu symptoms, and neurological symptoms manifested over the next few days. He started experiencing headaches, vision, memory, and balance problems.

“I was hospitalized for maybe four days, and I was discharged with the diagnosis of protracted ocular migraines with some other names stacked on,” Belcher told The Epoch Times. “I had never had a migraine before, and at that point, I had a migraine for [about] 20-something days straight.”
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