Four people develop Bell’s Palsy in Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine trial as allergic reaction; UK regulator reacts

Four people develop Bell’s Palsy in Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine trial as allergic reaction; UK regulator reacts


A report revealed that four people involved in Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine trial in the US developed an allergic reaction and got Bell’s palsy. The condition, which is usually temporary, causes muscles on one side of the face to droop because of nerves not working properly.

However, Britain`s drug regulator has dismissed safety fears over the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine after this happened. Earlier, the Daily Mail reported that four cases of Bell’s Palsy were found in a group of 21,720 people who had the Pfizer vaccine in a trial in the US, compared to none among 21,728 people given a placebo vaccine.

But this rate of occurrence is no different to how often it would be expected to happen in a random population – in the UK there are around 20 to 30 cases per 100,000 people per year.

The Food and Drug Administration in the US said in its report: `The four cases in the vaccine group do not represent a frequency above that expected in the general population.`

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, proven to be safe in clinical trials, is now being given to members of the public in Britain, which is the first country to give a jab to its citizens, the report said.

Daily Mail reported this means that it was almost certainly random that all the people who developed the condition happened to be in the vaccine group, and the same number of people would likely have got it in any group that size, regardless of a vaccine.

There is other good news regarding Covid-19 vaccine. Excitement is now building up on Molnupiravir, a new anti-viral drug. Significantly, according to latest research, Molnupiravir completely suppresses virus transmission and that to just within 24 hours.

However, this is according to ferret-based data and if it translate to humans, Covid-19 patients treated with the drug could become non-infectious within 24 hours after the beginning of treatment.

The drug is in advance phase II/III clinical trials against the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Molnupiravir is being developed by biotechnology firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in collaboration with Merck.

Researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at the Georgia State University in the US have discovered that treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours.

The group led by Richard Plemper, professor at Georgia State University, originally discovered that the drug is potent against influenza viruses.

“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission. MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing,” said Plemper.

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Interrupting widespread community transmission of Covid 19 until mass vaccination is available is paramount to managing COVID-19 and mitigating the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.
With IANS inputs.





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