AstraZeneca Covid vaccine 'can trigger rare nerve-damaging disorder' side effect

By Sophie Law

AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine can cause an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, according to the EU's medicine watchdog.

Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis, was listed as a possible new side effect of the jab by the European Medicines Agency.

It said 833 cases of of the nerve-damaging disorder were reported out of 592 million doses of the vaccine given worldwide - with the overall risk less than one in 10,000.

The syndrome was listed as a "very rare" side effect, with watchdog regulators emphasising the benefits of the vaccine still far outweigh the risks.

Guillain-Barre sees the immune system start to attack nerve cells, sparking symptoms including muscle pain, numbness and pins and needles.

It was listed as a possible new side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine (Getty Images)

The EMA said they considered it 'at least a reasonable possibility' that the syndrome is a side effect of AstraZeneca.

Britain's medical regulator does not officially recognise Guillain-Barre an AstraZeneca's side effect, but says is keeping a close eye on the link, according the Daily Mail.

There have been 393 cases of the syndrome in the UK, but it is not clear if the condition is occurring more often than it normally would.

AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine can cause an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder (Getty Images)

It comes after a very rare blood clot on the brain was listed as a side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this year.

All under-40s were offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as a precaution due to risk of blood clots in younger people.

Experts have stressed that the risk of severe illness or long-term complications from Covid infection is much higher and that a vaccine is the best option.

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