First case of facial paralysis after both doses of the Pfizer vaccine

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First case of facial paralysis after both doses of the Pfizer vaccine
First case of facial paralysis after both doses of the Pfizer vaccine Credit: Pixabay

The first case of facial paralysis after both doses of the Pfizer vaccine has been reported.

The person had two episodes of facial paralysis, one after the initial dose of the vaccine and a further episode after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. According to an article published in BMJ Case Reports, this “strongly” suggests that the Bell’s palsy experienced by the person “is related” to the vaccine.

This is the first time that medical literature has published a case study showing two episodes of facial nerve palsies that happened shortly after the person received each dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The muscles on one side of the face were weakened or paralysed for a short time.

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According to the authors of the study “the occurrence of the episodes immediately after each dose of vaccine strongly suggests that Bell’s palsy was attributed to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, although a causal relationship cannot be established”, as reported 20 minutes.

According to reports during the initial trials of the main coronavirus vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca, 10 cases of facial nerve palsy were reported. Since then there have been other people reportedly experiencing this too.

According to experts, cases of Bell’s palsy have also been seen after other vaccines have been given including the influenza and meningococcal vaccines. But a causal relationship has not been established.


The person who had the two cases of Bell’s palsy after receiving the doses of the COVID vaccine was a Caucasian male who was only 61 years old and he had no prior history of facial nerve palsy. The first issue occurred only five hours after he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The second episode appeared two days after his second dose and was more severe and caused swallowing difficulties. He was also unable to fully close his left eye too. The person did have other health issues before having the vaccine though. He is now said to be much improved and nearly back to normal.


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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