FDA: Pfizer RSV Vaccine Could, Very Rarely, Cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome


The Food and Drug Administration has reportedly linked the rare neurological condition to Pfizer’s respiratory syncytial virus vaccine — in the Phase 3 trial, two people in their 60s, out of roughly 20,000 total recipients, were diagnosed, though both are recovering. Also: risks of fitness trackers, stem cell treatments, and more.

The Mercury News:
FDA Warns Of Guillain-Barre Syndrome As Possible Risk Of Pfizer’s RSV Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration has flagged Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological condition, as a potential risk for Pfizer’s respiratory syncytial virus vaccine. Two people in their 60s who received the shot were diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, out of about 20,000 vaccine recipients who participated in Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trial, according to the FDA document. One person’s illness had completely resolved after three months, while the other continues to show signs of improvement six months later. (Schladebeck, 2/27)

In other health and wellness news —

Fox News:
Wearable Fitness Trackers With Sensing Technology Could Interfere With Implantable Cardiac Devices: Study

Many people use fitness trackers, such as smartwatches, as part of achieving a healthy lifestyle — but some cardiac patients should be aware of the risks. Some smart scales, smart rings and wearable fitness devices that use “bioimpedance,” a sensing technology that emits a tiny unnoticeable electrical current into the body, may interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), like pacemakers and defibrillators, according to a new study. (Sudhakar, 2/27)

USA Today:
Heart Disease Study Shows Hope For Stem Cell Treatment

Researchers have tried for decades to use stem cells to restore a damaged heart. A new study shows they still haven’t succeeded, but it offers the first glimmers of hope for heart disease, which is blamed for about 1 in 5 deaths in the United States, killing nearly 700,000 people a year. (Weintraub, 2/27)

The Washington Post:
Researchers Are Exploring How The Brain Helps Prevent Knee Injuries

Sports medicine experts for years have advocated the importance of safe biomechanics and lower body strengthening and coordination training to prevent injuries, especially to the ACL. But now some are exploring a brain-injury connection and hoping that targeting the capacity of the nervous system to adapt can both prevent injuries and help with recovery from them. (McMahan, 2/27)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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