Son seeks help for mother who developed GBS allegedly after J&J vaccination

MANILA, Philippines – A son is seeking help for his mother who allegedly got the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after she received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.

On Facebook, netizen Marc Lester Aclan sought financial support for his mother who is battling a rare neurological disease that developed allegedly after she received the one-shot Janssen J&J COVID-19 vaccine on July 29. Aclan described that her mother could no longer lift or hold anything due severe weakness. She also had trouble speaking.

According to Aclan, their mother was initially fine coming home after her vaccination. However, by night time, she experienced fever and chills. Two days later, she was also having fatigue and weakness. Until she could no longer stand up and the family decided to bring their mother to the hospital.

The doctor said that their mother has Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). When asked if the doctor confirmed if the GBS was due to the COVID-19 vaccine, he said that the doctor didn't say but explained that the vaccine has different side effects on individuals. "Maaaring reaksyon ng bakuna, maaaring nagkataon lang po, yun po ang sabi ng doctor sa amin," Aclan recalled.

Ako po si Mark Lester Aclan.25 years old,taga San juan Batangas,ako po ay lubos na kumakatok sa inyong mga puso,sa...

Posted by Lêstêr Âclan on Monday, August 2, 2021

Aclan said they already reported the incident and a representative of the Department of Health (DOH) will arrive to interview them.

Please pray for my mother speedy recovery. She was diagnosed with GBS after the J&J vaccine. Love y’all.

Posted by Mark Anthony Aclan on Thursday, August 5, 2021

He revealed that their mother's hospital bills are overwhelming among him and his siblings. They are asking for financial support and prayers for their mothers, especially because the bills could go as high as P150,000 a day. He added that their mother, who is a COVID-19 survivor, is a strong woman and they hope many would support them in her recovery.

GBS & COVID-19 vaccine

Guillain-Barré (Ghee-YAN Bah-RAY) syndrome (GBS) is a rare, autoimmune disorder in which a person's own immune system damages the nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. GBS can cause symptoms that last for a few weeks to several years. Most people recover fully, but some have permanent nerve damage.

As of July 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new warning on the possible risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), after getting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.

This came after the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) collected data that showed over 100 people reportedly developed GBS after receiving the vaccine. Out of the 100 cases, 95 were even labeled as "serious" and required hospitalization. It also resulted in one death.

The US' Center for Disease Control (CDC), noted that the GBS cases reported were mostly in men — many 50 years old and up — and usually about two weeks after vaccination.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a statement on the vaccine safety of adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines, J&J and AstraZeneca, on reports of GBS.

As of June 2021, both Vaxzevria (the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in Europe) and the J&J vaccine has added a warning on their fact sheets on the incidences of developing GBS following vaccination but clarified "they could not confirm nor rule out an association with the vaccine."

The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) has made the following conclusions on their investigation on GBS and Covid-19 vaccines:
  • confirmed rare cases of GBS have been reported following vaccinations with adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines
  • Increased reports of GBS have not been observed following mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna vaccines) COVID-19 vaccines
  • More studies are needed to assess the incidences in comparison to vaccinated and unvaccinated populations and the GACVS subcommittee will continue to monitor GBS and any other safety concerns
  • Healthcare professionals should monitor for and report all adverse events including GBS as countries should collate these data
  • Individuals receiving Janssen or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines should be alert to signs and symptoms of GBS and should seek immediate medical attention if they develop weakness/tingling and paralysis in the extremities that may progress to other parts of the body including the chest and face:
  1. Symptoms may include difficulty in walking; difficulty with facial movements; double vision or inability to move eyes; or difficulty controlling bladder or bowel functions.
  2. Healthcare professionals should be aware of these signs and symptoms to allow for early diagnosis and treatment. Most people fully recover from GBS.

In their conclusion, the WHO still recommends the use of Janssen and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines as they "continue to outweigh any potential risk of GBS, particularly given the increase in the more transmissible Delta variant."

— The Summit Express

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