The EMA previously reported that this syndrome will be included in the list of rare side effects of the Janssen coronavirus vaccine.
The issue of Guillain-Barre syndrome as a rare side effect after vaccination against coronavirus requires careful study. This is stated in a statement published on Monday in Geneva by the World Health Organization (WHO) subcommittee on COVID-19. This subcommittee is part of the WHO Committee on Vaccine Safety.
After reviewing the information received from the countries of the European Union, the United States, and some other states, the experts stated that there were “reports of rare cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome after vaccinations with vector adenovirus vaccines against COVID-19.” “More rigorous research is needed using data from alternative sources and effective research schemes, and it is also necessary to compare [side effects] in the vaccinated and unvaccinated population,” the statement says. Health care workers are recommended to “monitor and inform about all side effects, including Guillain-Barre syndrome.”
The WHO subcommittee believes that everyone who is vaccinated against COVID-19 with vaccines from the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the company Janssen, owned by the American corporation Johnson & Johnson, “should be warned about the signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, and they should immediately seek medical help” if they develop, in particular, symptoms such as weakness, paralysis and difficulty walking. At the same time, the experts concluded that “the potential benefits of vaccinations with AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines continue to outweigh the potential risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, especially given the growing spread of the more contagious variant of [coronavirus] delta.”
The WHO explained that the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines “use an adenovirus platform.”
Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune lesion of the peripheral nerves, accompanied by weakness in the muscles and impaired sensitivity. In the most acute cases, the disease leads to paralysis and death, but for the most part, patients fully recover.
Last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that Guillain-Barre syndrome will be included in the list of rare side effects of the Janssen coronavirus vaccine. The EMA’s findings are based on a study of 108 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome worldwide by June 30, when the Janssen drug was used to vaccinate 21 million people. In turn, the US Food and Drug Administration reported on July 13 that the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine may increase the risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome.