Moscow – The CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Chinese company Sinovac, increases the risk of temporary paralysis of the facial nerve, according to a study by Hong Kong researchers published in The Lancet.
Scientists from the University of Hong Kong compared health reports collected from patients who got the first shot of the CoronaVac or the BNT162b2 (Fosun–BioNTech, equivalent to Pfizer–BioNTech) vaccine within 42 days following injection with the baseline for the general population.
The study determined that there was a higher risk of developing temporary facial nerve palsy, or Bell’s palsy, in those vaccinated with CoronaVac, equivalent to an additional 4.8 cases per 100,000 people. The number for those vaccinated with the BNT162b2 was an additional two cases per 100,000 people, according to Sputnik.
“Our findings suggest an overall increased risk of Bell’s palsy after CoronaVac vaccination,” the study concluded.
However, the researchers noted that the benefits of the vaccine “far outweigh the risk of this generally self-limiting adverse event.” In 90 per cent of cases, Bell’s palsy can be cured within nine months, the study said.
The analysis covered the health data of 451,939 individuals who had received CoronaVac and 537,205 individuals who had received the other vaccine between Feb 23 and May 4 this year.
Bell’s palsy causes sudden weakness or paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face, which leads to a temporary loss of control of the facial muscles on the affected side.