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Four Trial Volunteers Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Develop Bell's Palsy, US FDA Clarifies

Four people in the US, who got the Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in the trial, developed Bell’s Palsy, which is a form of temporary facial paralysis.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Four people in the United States, who got COVID-19 vaccine shot developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, developed Bell’s Palsy, which is a form of temporary facial paralysis. According to US FDA report on the shot, there wasn’t any clear information on whether the vaccine caused Bell’s palsy. However, the officials warned that doctors should watch for the alarming situation and Pfizer should continue to keep a tab on how many people it strikes. 

Bell’s Palsy resolves on its own most of the time. According to DailyMail, the US FDA said that the number of Bell’s palsy cases seen in the vaccine trial was "consistent with the background frequency of reported Bell's palsy in the vaccine group that is consistent with the expected background rate in the general population." The officials added that there is no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time, but they also will keep a close watch on future cases. 

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As per reports, the four cases of Bell’s palsy were the only side effect that the FDA saw as “imbalanced” with more occurring in the vaccine group than the placebo group. Among the four people, one saw facial paralysis or weakness within three days after they received the shot. However, their face returned to normal about three days after that. In the second case, the person developed Bell’s palsy nine days after receiving the shot, and the other’s face grew weak 37 and 48 days after vaccination, respectively. 

While each of those four recovered from the facial paralysis in 10 to 21 days, they, however, noted that Bell’s palsy comes on suddenly and looks alarming like a stroke. The doctors are still trying to find what causes it. They revealed that it can strike at any age and drag on for weeks, but almost always resolves on its own over weeks or months, so there isn’t any particular treatment. 

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Pfizer vaccine offers ‘strong protection’

Meanwhile, the recent side effect of Pfizer vaccine comes after the regulators in the US released their first scientific evaluation of vaccine. They confirmed that it offers “strong protection,” which means that the government might have given a green signal to the vaccine. 

The Pfizer/BionTech formula is an mRNA vaccine that uses a tiny fragment of genetic code from the virus to teach the body how to fight Covid-19 and build its immunity.  It is delivered in two doses, 21 days apart and has shown a strong immunity response kicking in seven days after administering the second dose. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70C before being defrosted and can only be moved four times within that temperature before being used.

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READ: 'Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Offers Strong Protection', Says US Drug Regulator

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