Recently we received the following question about Bell’s palsy and COVID-19 vaccine:
“As a former patient, I am wondering whether you have been following information on the coronavirus vaccines and reports of Bell’s palsy in a small number of people. I have read unsubstantiated reports of some people who have had Bell’s palsy in the past and after being vaccinated they are seeing a return of the problem. I am just wondering if you are hearing anything from your patients on the matter since I’m unable to find a good resource for information.”
In the media, there were some concerns raised about the correlation between receiving COVID-19 vaccine and risk of developing Bell’s palsy as a result. This has become a concern for current Bell’s palsy sufferers as well as those who have not had facial palsy before. We would like to share our view on this matter.
Is it safe to get COVID-19 vaccine for those with Bell’s palsy?
In our opinion, you should not be particularly concerned about the risk of getting a relapse of Bell’s palsy as a result of COVID-19 vaccination.
Each and every vaccination, whether it is against polio, smallpox, yellow fever or any other disease, carries a certain (usually very small) risk of side effects. As a rule, we choose to do the vaccination, because it will protect us from a much bigger evil than a risk of side effects. In our opinion, the approach to COVID-19 vaccination should be in principle, no different.
So far we could not find any scientific publications about the subject, and that is quite understandable because there is no sufficient statistical data yet to evaluate the numbers. As the world-wide vaccination progresses, we will receive more statistical analysis of the possible risks that various types of COVID-19 vaccines may or may not be presenting to the general health of an individual.
Can COVID-19 vaccine lead to Bell’s palsy?
The statistical data available to date shows that on average, the number of individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and developed Bell’s palsy per 100.000 of the population is no different from the number of individuals who developed Bell’s palsy in the previous years per 100.000 of the population when there was no Coronavirus.
The administration of any vaccine into a human organism activates the production of specific antibodies and prepares the human body to give a quick, massive and efficient immune response in the future in case of contact with an active virus. In our opinion, neither the injection of a vaccine nor the production of specific COVID-19 antibodies by itself presents any risk of malfunction of or damage to just one single nerve in our body – the facial nerve. Whether a person already experienced Bell’s palsy in the past or has never had it before, should, in our opinion, make no difference as far as the risk (or the absence thereof) of developing Bell’s palsy is concerned.
If you are still worried about Coronavirus vaccine and Bell’s palsy relapse
If you had Bell’s palsy before and you are still concerned about the alleged risk of relapse, then you should consider the possible consequences for your general health of getting sick with COVID-19 against possible consequences of getting a relapse of Bell’s palsy. Based on those considerations, you can decide what is the best choice in your situation.
“Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions”
“Facial Palsy and Covid-19 vaccine”
“Can Getting The Coronavirus Vaccine Lead To Bell’s Palsy?”
– Alex Pashov
Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic