In May 2021, Canadian actress Jennifer Gibson published a video on her Instagram account in which she showed a paralyzed side of her face. She shed tears and said the condition, called Bell’s palsy, was caused by AstraZeneca’s Covid-10 vaccine 19. Gibson has starred in the series ‘Men in Suits’ (“Suits”, 2011) and has more than 67 credits for participation in audiovisual productions.
One reason the video drew attention, resurfacing last month on social networks, is that, despite the problem, she defended the vaccine: “I have I mean, I would do it again, because that’s what we have to do.” Videos with hundreds of thousands of views compared the actress’ attitude to the “Stockholm syndrome”, which occurs when hostages of kidnappers come to defend them. The actress closed her Instagram account to followers only and continues to work, a sign that the side effect has passed. On October 9 of this year, another actress, the American Susan Egan (‘Hercules’, 1997; ‘A Voyage of Spirit’, 2001) also announced on Instagram that he has Bell’s palsy, but attributed the problem to a viral infection.
Bell’s palsy, which only affects the face, is a guard term. -rain for this issue, applied when the cause is unknown. Singer Justin Bieber was suspected in June, but his doctors diagnosed him with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus and shingles.
Side Effect of vaccines
A study published in January by the journal
Lancet with first authorship by Eric Yuk Fai Wan of the University of Hong Kong, estimated that Bell’s palsy occurs in 60 every 100 ) thousand people vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA nanoparticles, and in 67 every 100 thousand inoculated with Coronavac, an inactivated virus vaccine from the Chinese company Sinovac. Comparing with the background incidence of about 25 cases in 100 ) 1,000 people, this means that the Pfizer and Coronavac Covid vaccines increase the incidence of Bell’s palsy by 1.7 and 2.6 times, respectively—vaccinates are nearly twice as likely to be nearly tripled to have the paralysis compared non-vaccinated, depending on the vaccine. In both cases, the risk is slightly higher in men than in women. The study considered almost 800 a thousand doses of each vaccine.
Another study by researchers from Hong Kong, authored by Francisco Tsz Tsun Lai et al., compared the risk of adverse events such as Bell’s palsy in people with two or more chronic diseases between vaccinated and unvaccinated with Pfizer and Coronavac. Among almost 900 a thousand participants, the authors concluded that 0.3% had some adverse event. Interestingly, adverse events were more common among the unvaccinated (0.4%) than among the vaccinated (0.2% of those vaccinated with Pfizer, 0.3% of those with Coronavac). The authors speculate that this result could be explained by a bias that the healthiest patients are also those who prefer to be vaccinated, but in any case they emphasize that the two vaccines against Covid-19 are generally very safe.
This general safety can be understood as a variable depending on the group of vaccinees, and something that depends on evaluations of effects collaterals that have a non-vaccine counterpart in the population. Problems that are already rare without Covid vaccines 19, such as Bell’s palsy, may be at increased risk for them, but still rare despite this increase, as indicated by the study by Lancet.
Another rare side effect is vaccine myocarditis, which especially affects teenagers and young males. It is a rare problem in this group, but it becomes less rare after the administration of mRNA nanoparticles from vaccines from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna, to the point of shake previous certainties that Covid would be a more common aggravating factor for the problem than these vaccines. Some professionals already believe that, for the specific case of boys, these vaccines lose in the cost-benefit analysis.
Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of temporary inability to move the muscles of a side of the face due to probable inflammation or compression of the seventh nerve of the skull, which gives movement and sensations to the face. It is also possible, but infrequently, for the entire face to be affected. The movements are usually recovered after a month, but 30% of those affected can continue with sequelae. One in every 60 person has this paralysis at some point in their lives. Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, immune system problems and nerve problems such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. In addition to these factors, there is genetics. A review of genetics studies published in 2021 found that a genetic variant carried by 100% of the population increases by about of 25% the risk of the problem.