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Experts warn “more than one in 10,000 people may develop Bell’s palsy” after Pfizer second dose

Bell's palsy also known as "idiopathic facial palsy", is an extremely rare side effect.

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – a government health body – said that people “are more likely to experience side effects after the second dose”.

According to the agency, people, after the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, are likely to develop tenderness or swelling at the injection site.

While some people may suffer from redness at the injection site too, which should fade within a few days.

Additionally, feeling tired, having a headache, and suffering from muscle pains are all being considered as “common side effects”.

Affecting more than one in 10 people, recipients of the Pfizer jab can also expect to feel joint pain, diarrhoea, or a fever.

Feeling nauseous and vomiting can also be unpleasant side effects of the vaccine.

Considered “rare” side effects, the following may affect more than one in 1,000 people.

A feeling of itchiness can affect the injection site area and then make the whole body feel itchy.

The Pfizer jab could lead to a rash, swelling of the lymph nodes and sleeplessness.

But the health agency also included Bell’s Palsy as a rare side effects of the vaccine.

More than one in 10,000 people may develop Bell’s palsy.

said the HSE

Bell’s palsy also known as “idiopathic facial palsy”, is temporary facial paralysis or weakness on one side of the face.

The cranial nerve VII (facial nerve) is affected, which can affect eye blinking and closing of the eye on one side of the face.

It can take up to six months for the facial function to make a full recovery.

In some cases, residual muscle weakness lasts longer or may be permanent.

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy can include:

  • Drooping of the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Inability to close eye
  • Excessive tearing in one eye
  • Facial pain
  • Altered tase
  • Intolerance to loud noise

Most often these symptoms lead to significant facial distortion

said the NIH.

Steroid treatment is usually prescribed within 72 hours of symptoms showing; this can increase the probability of a full recovery.

Recipients of the Pfizer jab are also at risk of severe allergic reaction – although this is “extremely rare”.

The public are assured that the “vaccinator is trained to treat any serious allergic reactions”.

The HSE emphasized that the Pfizer jab has gone through clinical trials and safety checks before being made available to the public.

However, as the vaccine is still considered new, information on long-term side effects is limited.

Image Credit: iStock

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