Health Bureau reveals 2 more adverse events after COVID-19 jabs

2021-04-22 04:29     Comment:0

2nd case of Bell’s palsy after novel coronavirus vaccination

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced in a statement last night that a woman who received her second BioNTech mRNA jab early this month has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle), while a man who received his first Sinopharm inactivated jab on Sunday has been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy (a type of facial paralysis).

It is the second Bell’s palsy case following COVID-19 vaccination reported in Macau.

According to the statement, the 34-year-old woman suffered pain in both thighs on Friday last week and the pain worsened the next day. She was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis on Tuesday by the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre after seeking treatment at the University Hospital run by the private Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) on Monday. The woman received her second BioNTech jab at a public health centre on April 5.

According to the statement, the woman, who has been hospitalised at the public hospital, is in a stable condition.

The 34-year-old man, according to the statement, was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy on Tuesday after seeking treatment at the public hospital, when he received outpatient treatment. He received his first Sinopharm jab at a public health centre on Sunday. His is the second case of its kind reported locally after the patient had been inoculated against COVID-19.

A 27-year-old man who received a BioNTech jab last month was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy last week, Macau’s first such case. This case was classified as a serious post-vaccination adverse event.

However, last night’s statement said that the two latest cases – the second case of Bell’s palsy and the first case of rhabdomyolysis – have been classified as minor post-vaccination adverse events.

Despite having been classified as minor adverse events, the two cases have been transferred to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) special working group tasked with assessing serious adverse events after COVID-19 vaccinations, because both cases were “unusual”, the statement said.

The statement underlined that the Health Bureau has set up a special working group to assess serious adverse events after COVID-19 vaccinations, which is composed of representatives from various medical fields. In case a serious adverse event following a COVID-19 vaccination is reported, the working group will assess the case and verify whether there is a causal relationship between the vaccination and the adverse event, the statement said.

‘Inconclusive’ causality

Meanwhile, last night’s statement also announced that after an assessment by the working group, the causal relationship between the Bell’s palsy case announced last week (the 27-year-old man) and his COVID-19 vaccination is “inconclusive”.

As of yesterday 4 p.m. the number of adverse events stood at 373, two of which have been classified as serious, out of a total of 86,653 vaccinations. Just 0.43 percent of all vaccinations have so far caused adverse events, according to the official statistics.

This file photo shows a nurse administering a COVID-19 jab to a woman at a public health centre in late February. Photo: GCS

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