Patient Case Strongly Suggests Link Between COVID-19 Vaccine
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The case of a patient who experienced two facial palsies—one after the first and another after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine—strongly suggests that Bell's palsy is linked to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, doctors write.

This case report describes a 61-year-old Caucasian man with no previous history of facial nerve palsy who experienced an episode of Bell's palsy on the right side of his face five hours after receiving his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and a more severe episode of Bell's palsy on the left side of his face two days after receiving the second dose. The patient had a high BMI, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Both doses of the vaccine were administered to the left arm.

The patient attended the emergency department after the first episode, unable to close his left eye properly or move the left side of his forehead and was diagnosed with Bell's palsy. Routine bloods and a CT head scan showed nothing of concern and he was discharged with a course of steroids, and the facial nerve palsy completely resolved.

The patient received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine six weeks after the first, and developed a more severe left-sided facial nerve palsy two days later. The symptoms included dribbling, difficulty swallowing and inability to fully close his left eye. He went to the emergency department, where he was again prescribed a course of steroids. He was also referred to the emergency ENT clinic, which continued the steroids and referred him to ophthalmology.

The authors report that his symptoms have greatly improved and the patient is almost back to normal. "The patient has been advised to discuss future mRNA vaccines with the GP on a case-by-case basis, taking into account risk versus benefit of having each vaccine," they say.

Source:
https://casereports.bmj.com/content/14/7/e243829
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