A rare nerve disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome has been linked to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, leading the Food and Drug Administration to attach a warning to its fact sheet.
There have been at least 100 cases recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and symptoms usually occur within weeks of receiving the vaccine.
“Reports of adverse events following use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine under emergency use authorization suggest an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 42 days following vaccination,” the FDA warning now says.
The disorder, which has been linked to men over 50 years old, is known to damage nerve cells and lead to symptoms that include temporary muscle weakness and paralysis.
This is the second warning added to the one-dose J&J vaccine, the first coming on April 13 after cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) were connected to the vaccine and may have led to deaths. The CDC and FDA temporarily paused the vaccine, as a review of the cases led them to warn of the side effects affecting women under 50 years old, and restarting the vaccine’s use on April 23.
Guillain-Barré syndrome was linked to the Bird Flu vaccines of 1979 and is monitored by the CDC every flu season.
Neither the Moderna or Pfizer have been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome.