On Monday, US health officials at the Centres For Disease Control stated that Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine may pose a “small possible risk” of a rare but potentially dangerous neurological reaction.
In a statement released yesterday, CDC officials cited reports of 100 people who got the shot developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, an immune system disorder that can cause muscle weakness and occasionally paralysis. According to the statement, most cases of the side effect were reported in men (many 50 years old and up) and usually about two weeks after vaccination.
Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks some of its nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis that typically is temporary. An estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop the syndrome each year, according to the CDC.
These 100 cases were reported among over 13 million Americans who have received the one-dose vaccine since it was officially authorized. Meanwhile, the government said the vaccines most used in the U.S., made by Pfizer and Moderna, show no risk of the disorder after more than 320 million doses have been administered.
Going forward, the CDC will be consulting its panel of outside vaccine experts to review the issue at an upcoming meeting.