HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessFewer than 0.001% of Americans who've gotten J&J vaccine later developed rare...

Fewer than 0.001% of Americans who’ve gotten J&J vaccine later developed rare autoimmune disease

A very tiny percentage of people who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine develop a rare autoimmune disorder as a side effect, a new report finds.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it has identified just 98 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome out of about 12.6 million people. 

That’s a rate of under 0.001 percent, or about eight cases for every million people vaccinated with the one-dose vaccine.

Out of those 98 cases, 95 people were hospitalized, ten were admitted to an intensive care unit, and only one died.

The CDC says the benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 far outweigh the risks of this Guillain-Barré, which can cause nerve damage and temporary paralysis.

The CDC has identified 98 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition, tied to vaccination with the J&J vaccine. Pictured: A man gets vaccinated with J&J at an August 2021 clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma

As of August 9, more than 195 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

With such large numbers of people vaccinated, the CDC’s vaccine safety tracking system is able to identify very rare vaccine side effects – those that occur so infrequently, they were not identified during clinical trials.

These side effects include heart inflammation linked to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and Guillain-Barré syndrome, linked to the J&J vaccine.

Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder. Complications in a patient’s immune system lead to nerve damage and muscle weakness – causing the patient to become temporarily paralized.

The syndrome can cause permanent paralysis and death in rare cases.

As a result of these cases, the FDA added a warning label about Guillain-Barré syndrome to the J&J vaccine. Pictured: A health worker holds up a vial of J&J vaccine, July 2021

As a result of these cases, the FDA added a warning label about Guillain-Barré syndrome to the J&J vaccine. Pictured: A health worker holds up a vial of J&J vaccine, July 2021

The CDC has identified 98 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome linked to J&J vaccination as of June 2021, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Over 12.6 million Americans had been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine by that time – meaning the syndrome occurred at a rate under 0.001 percent.

For every million people vaccinated with the J&J vaccine, just eight have experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome.

In total, the CDC says that 100 cases of this syndrome were reported to the agency through its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

However, two of those cases did not occur within 42 days of vaccination or otherwise have enough patient information available for the CDC to confirm that they were linked to vaccination.

The median age for these Guillain-Barré syndrome patients was 57, with a range of 24 to 76.

Men – especially older men – are more likely to experience this syndrome than women. Out of the 98 cases identified by the CDC, 61 were among men.

For men between the ages of 50 and 64, the rate of Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome after J&J vaccination is 16 cases for every million people vaccinated – double the rate for the overall population.

Fewer than 0.001% of Americans who've gotten J&J vaccine later developed rare autoimmune disease

Fewer than 0.001% of Americans who've gotten J&J vaccine later developed rare autoimmune disease

Out of the 98 Guillain-Barré syndrome cases identified, 95 people were hospitalized as a result of this side effect.

Only ten patients were admitted to an intensive care unit and one has died.

These cases provide evidence for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recent addition of a warning about Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome to the J&J vaccine’s label.

The warning was added on July 12. At the time, the FDA referenced reports of about 100 cases, which matches the data newly released by the CDC.

Overall, however, the CDC says that the benefits of vaccination with the J&J vaccine far outweighs the risks of this severe side effect.

The J&J vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing severe Covid disease and death, and 66 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease.

This outweighs both the risks of Guillain-Barré syndrome and a type of severe blood clotting, which impacts three people out of every million vaccinated with J&J.

‘Per million doses of J&J Covid vaccine administered to males aged 50–64 years, 1,800 hospitalizations, 480 ICU admissions, and 140 deaths attributable to COVID-19 could be prevented,’ the CDC wrote in its report.

This is compared to 14 to 17 Guillain-Barré syndrome cases and one to two blood clot cases.

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which complications on one’s immune system leads to damage to the nerves and weakness to the muscles, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

The disease can result in paralysis or death, according to the CDC. Most of those suffering from the diseases fully recover, but it can leave permanent damages to the nerves.

The disease impacts about 1 of every 100,000 people, with annual domestic cases in the U.S. ranging from 3,000-6,000 people. It is predominantly found in men ages 50 and above.

Doctors typically treat the condition with plasma exchanges and immunoglobulin therapy, the CDC said.

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