After first having been reported on over the summer, the European Medicine's Agency (EMA) has said there is direct correlation between Guillain-Barré syndrome and the AstraZeneca vaccine.
AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson
According to statistics collected, 833 cases of GBS were reported in relation to the 592 million doses administered of the AstraZeneca vaccine by 31 July 202. Now, the EMA listed the side effect as being 'very rare' which happens to be the lowest frequency rating a side effect can possibly have. They have also stressed the importance of getting jabbed and the fact that the benefits of the vaccine greatly outweigh any risks.
Over in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a warning regarding GBS as a possible side effect of the Johnson and Johnson jab. This comes as no surprise as both vaccines use the same viral vector technology—both of which have also been linked to rare blood clots.
What exactly is Guillain-Barré syndrome?
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a very rare autoimmune disorder in which one's own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and in other cases paralysis. Symptoms associated to GBS can last up to several years. Although most people can fully recover from GBS, others are left with permanent nerve damage. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) explains that:
The causes are not fully understood, but it often follows a viral infection [such as influenza, cytomegalovirus and glandular fever] or gastroenteritis caused by bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni.
GBS has been associated with other types of immunisations, such as influenza vaccines and has been reported with COVID-19 infection. GBS causes nerve inflammation and can result in pain, numbness, muscle weakness and difficulty walking.