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Bell’s Palsy And Covid Vaccines

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It’s undoubtedly true that some things lead to others. But it’s also true that not doing something can lead to the same thing.

For example, every vaccine campaign kills some people. Just one of those things. Do something to tens, hundreds, of millions of people and some of them will die of it. But that’s not what the risk of the vaccine is. We also need to subtract from that risk the risk of death from not having the vaccine. With smallpox, or Black Death – if we had a vaccine for it – this is simple enough.

It’s also true of not death from this current vaccine:

The Pfizer Covid jab has been linked to Bell’s palsy after a 61-year-old British man suffered facial paralysis after each dose of the vaccine.

In an article in the journal BMJ Case Reports, Dr Abigail Burrows, of Royal Surrey County Hospital, described how the man experienced paralysis to the right side of his face five hours after the first jab.

He attended the emergency department after he was unable to close his left eye properly or move the left side of his forehead and was given a course of steroids. Six weeks later, he suffered paralysis to the left side of his face two days after his second dose, causing him to dribble and have difficulty swallowing.

At the back of my mind three’s the thought that don’t we know that vaccines are linked to Bell’s Palsy? Not that I’ve bothered to look it up of course. But then:

People with COVID-19 were more likely to develop Bell’s palsy (peripheral facial nerve palsy) than people who were vaccinated against the virus, an analysis of medical records showed.

Matching COVID-19 patients with vaccinated individuals showed that people with COVID-19 were nearly seven times more likely to have a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy than those who were vaccinated (OR 6.8, P<0.001), reported Akina Tamaki, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and co-authors in a research letter in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Which leads to one of those odd little conclusions. Yes, vaccines give you Bell’s Palsy. But because the disease being vaccinated against also gives you Bell’s Palsy – or rather either might but the disease does at a higher rate – then the vaccine that gives you Bell’s Palsy is actually protective against getting Bell’s Palsy.

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