AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine could increase risk of ‘locked-in’ Guillain-Barré syndrome

Scientists believe the jab’s Trojan horse transmission system may be responsible for the increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can lead to muscle paralysis in some patients

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Valneva will ship the first doses of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine on April 6th

The AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine may lead to an increased risk of developing the serious neurological condition Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), which can lead to the rare and frightening “locked-in” syndrome.

Scientists believe the Jab’s Trojan horse transmission system may be to blame and that the discovery could apply to similar vaccines.

GBS is an extremely rare condition in which the body’s immune system attacks nerves, causing muscle numbness and pain. Its rapid onset can quickly paralyze muscles and impair the ability to swallow and breathe.

In some cases, GBS can progress to a full “locked-in syndrome” in which the patient remains fully conscious but unable to move any part of their body, as made famous in the novel and film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is pictured.

The AstraZeneca vaccine may be associated with a higher risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome


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According to the NHS, patients typically require six to 12 months of hospital treatment and around one in 20 die from the disease.

University College London scientists found an increase in GBS cases within two to four weeks after the AstraZeneca vaccine, but not with other vaccines such as Pfizer or Moderna.

GBS was added to AstraZeneca’s list of possible side effects in October 2021. It has also been linked to the recovery of Covid patients.

The Oxford vaccine delivers the coronavirus spike protein via a weakened chimpanzee adenovirus, and scientists have suggested a response to the adenovirus could be responsible for the rise in cases.

Experts say the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any potential risks


AFP via Getty Images)

Lead author Professor Michael Lunn, from UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology, said in The Telegraph : “At the moment we don’t know why a vaccine can cause these very small increases in GBS.

“It may be that non-specific immune activation occurs in susceptible individuals, but if this were the case then similar risks could apply to all vaccine types.

“It is therefore logical to assume that the simian adenovirus vector, which is widely used to develop vaccines, including that of AstraZeneca, could be responsible for the increased risk.”

A number of pathogens, tuberculosis, HIV and malaria can be treated with adenovirus-based vaccines.

GBS affects around 1,500 people in the UK each year. UCL researchers conducted a population-based study using NHS data in England to track GBS case rates versus the introduction of vaccination.

996 GBS cases were recorded between January and October 2021, but there was an unusual increase between March and April 2021.

In those two months, the number of cases rose by around 40% to around 140 a month, with 198 GBS cases occurring within six weeks of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination in England.

After a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, there were 5.8 additional GBS cases per million vaccine doses, resulting in a total of 98-140 additional cases between January and July 2021.

Vaccination of any kind is a known risk factor for GBS


AFP via Getty Images)

Recent data from the US showed a similar increase in the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, which also uses an adenovirus entry system.

The new research was published in the journal Brain.

An AstraZeneca spokesman said: “Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) has been reported very rarely following vaccination with Vaxzevria.

“Any type of vaccination is a known risk factor for GBS, and the manuscript notes that the low number of GBS cases is similar to increases previously observed in other mass vaccination campaigns.

“It should also be noted that Vaxzevria was administered to more people in the UK than any other vaccine during the period examined in the manuscript.

“The study notes that the low case numbers should be compared to how many infections, hospitalizations and deaths our vaccine has prevented due to Covid-19. Current estimates show that the vaccine has helped prevent 50 million Covid-19 cases and five million hospitalizations worldwide, saving more than a million lives.

“The EMA and other international bodies, including the WHO, have all stated that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any potential risks.”

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