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EU adds rare spinal inflammation as side-effect of J&J COVID-19 vaccine

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Health Canada adds autoimmune disorder warning to AstraZeneca, J&J vaccines'
COVID-19: Health Canada adds autoimmune disorder warning to AstraZeneca, J&J vaccines
WATCH ABOVE: COVID-19: Health Canada adds autoimmune disorder warning to AstraZeneca, J&J vaccines – Nov 10, 2021

Editor’s note: Reuters issued clarification that this story was based on a European Medicines Agency statement from Oct. 6 and was released inadvertently on Nov. 11.

Europe’s drug regulator on Thursday recommended adding a rare type of spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side-effect of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports of this serious neurological illness was also at the heart of trial halts in the early stages of development for both AstraZeneca and J&J’s shots, which are based on similar technology.

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Giving updates on the safety of all coronavirus shots, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was assessing reports of a rare blood condition known as capillary leak syndrome (CLS) following inoculation with Moderna’s vaccine.

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The EMA said it had recorded six cases of CLS and was assessing all data, but it was not yet clear if there was a causal association between the reports and the vaccine.

In CLS, fluids leak from the smallest blood vessels causing swelling and a drop in blood pressure. The condition has also been studied with vaccines from AstraZeneca and J&J.

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The EMA said there was currently not enough evidence of a possible link between rare cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and mRNA-based vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The regulator is reviewing if approved coronavirus vaccines could cause MIS. The syndrome is a serious but rare condition in which different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

J&J and Moderna did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

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— Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil

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