Johnson & Johnson vaccine: FDA to add new warning after link to serious nerve condition

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The Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine could be about to receive a new warning – that it could lead to increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome. The condition mainly affects the feet, hands and limbs, causing problems such as numbness, weakness and pain. It can sometimes be life-threatening and some people are left with long-term problems.

The cases have largely occurred around two weeks after vaccination, mostly in men, many aged 50 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said.

The CDC added available data does not show a similar pattern with mRNA vaccines, after more than 321 million doses administered in the United States.

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The agency will be discussing the issue at its upcoming vaccine advisory committee meeting.

The FDA did note while the available evidence suggests an association between the Johnson * Johnson vaccine and increased risk of Guillain-Barre, “it is insufficient to establish a casual relationship”.

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Guillain-Barre syndrome is described as very rare by the NHS.

It’s thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system. The health body explains: “Normally the immune system attacks any germs that get into the body. But in people with Guillain-Barré syndrome, something goes wrong and it mistakenly attacks and damages the nerves.

“It’s not clear exactly why this happens, but the condition often happens after an infection; especially an infection of the airways, such as flu, or an infection of the digestive system, such as food poisoning or a stomach bug (gastroenteritis).”

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Other vaccines have been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome in the past.

“This includes severe cases with blood clots, including in unusual locations, such as the brain, liver, bowel and spleen in some cases in combination with bleeding.

“These cases occurred within the first three weeks following vaccination and occurred mostly in women below 60 years of age. Fatal outcome has been reported.

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“Seek immediate medical attention, if you experience severe or persistent headaches, seizures (fits) mental status changes or blurred vision, unexplained skin bruising beyond the site of vaccination which appear a few days after vaccination, pinpoint round spots beyond the site of vaccination, develop shortness of breath, chest pain, leg pain, leg swelling, or persistent abdominal pain.

“Inform your healthcare provider that you have recently received COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen.”

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