A day after the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine shots were rolled out in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has asked to look out for possible cases of Bell's palsy. The recommendation is issued for those who have either received the Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Mayo Clinic Bell's palsy causes a sudden freezing or weakness in a person's facial muscles. This is temporary in most people. The exact cause isn't known, but it's believed to come from either a viral infection or swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face, the Mayo Clinic said.
Warning Issued After Trial Participants Suffered From Condition
According to NBC in a 54-page staff report released by the FDA, it was reported that four cases of Bell's palsy among Moderna's clinical trial participants were found. Three of the participants who got Bell's palsy also received the vaccine instead of a placebo shot. Further, Pfizer's trial too had four reported cases of Bell's palsy out of 43,000 participants. All four Bell's palsy cases in Pfizer's trial got the vaccine instead of the placebo.
Stating that they don't have enough data to establish a link between Bell's palsy and the vaccine but still said that it warranted close scrutiny. The vaccinated participants experienced the paralysis between 22 days and 32 days following inoculation, said the report.
"Two of the cases of Bell's palsy among Moderna's vaccine group have since "resolved" while one was still ongoing at the time of the report. Currently available information is insufficient to determine a causal relationship with the vaccine," the FDA staff wrote.
Bell's Palsy Scare Keeps Social Media Buzzing
On Monday a black nurse from New York City became the first person to receive the early dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The New York Times reported that the FDA intend to authorize the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Even though there has been no significant link found between the vaccine and Bell's palsy, the social media was talking about it. "FDA staff recommends watching for Bell's palsy in Moderna and Pfizer vaccine recipients...my advice is use your brain,there haven't been a recall to life just like some car manufacturers do in recalling some faulty vehicles," tweeted a user.
"My dad called me yesterday, and it made my heart melt because I haven't seen him in a while. But he told me "please whatever you do don't take the vaccine for covid i don't want you to possibly go through getting Bell's palsy again" which made realize shoot that happened," wrote another.
"Well I heard that 4 people got Bell's Palsy from taking the vaccine so I'm not saying not to do it but I'm warning I'd rather them know," opined another user.