What to know about rare side effect of J&J vaccine

Kentucky

(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Federal health officials are warning of an extremely rare but potentially serious side effect of Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

How rare is this complication?

More than 12.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The CDC has received preliminary reports of about 100 people who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome after getting the single-dose shot. An estimated 3,000-6,000 people develop GBS each year in the United States, according to the CDC.

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

GBS is an autoimmune disorder that makes the body’s immune system damage nerve cells. It causes muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. The CDC says most people recover fully, but GBS can cause permanent nerve damage. Some people have died of GBS.

What if I’ve already had the J&J shot?

Most people who developed symptoms of GBS did so within 42 days of receiving the J&J shot, according to the FDA. Still, the FDA says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh its potential risks.

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