As cases pile up (445 as of July 9) of the reportedly “rare” neurological disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome in people who received a COVID vaccine — forcing the sluggish U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add a warning label to the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot — scientists are issuing urgent warnings about a possible tsunami of other types of neurological injuries.
Immunologist J. Bart Classen, one-time National Institutes of Health (NIH) contract scientist and proprietor of Classen Immunotherapies, a Maryland biotechnology firm, published a paper in February outlining the potential for messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID vaccines to trigger development of prion diseases as well as other chronic diseases.
Prion or “prion-like” diseases include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and others. A hallmark of these neurodegenerative diseases is the formation and clustering of misfolded proteins within the nervous system.
Classen’s February conclusions were based on analysis of RNA from the Pfizer injection.
These data show the risk of neurodegenerative adverse events is far from theoretical. In fact, the AstraZeneca vaccine is already producing a safety signal for Parkinson’s disease, and the Pfizer vaccine may not be far behind.
Classen’s analysis focuses on roughly six months’ worth of data (through mid-June 2021) for two of the experimental COVID injections currently authorized in the UK — the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that deploys genetically engineered adenoviruses and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reliant on lipid-encapsulated synthetic mRNA. (Due to insufficient data, Classen was not able to include the Moderna shot.)
The UK government’s Yellow Card adverse event reporting system organizes the data by organ system and symptom or disease.