No reported case yet of rare spinal condition from AstraZeneca in PH - VEP

A health worker shows a vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Transverse myelitis, a rare side effect of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine AstraZeneca has not yet been detected in the country, the head of the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) said on Friday, Jan. 21.

Dr. Nina Gloriani said during a Laging Handa press briefing that it is a very rare condition.

"So yun pong nerve cells natin meron iyang parang balot...yung linya ng kuryente mayroong insulation siya, so yung insulation sa nerve cell ay inflamed, namamaga (Our nerve cells have a an electric cord it has an insulation and the insulation of the nerve cell becomes inflamed)," she explained.

"Yun po yung nagcacause ng mga symptoms, na pwedeng may pain sa back, magshoot sa arms sa legs, pwedeng mahirapan lumakad o may tingling sensation (That's what causes the symptoms such as back pain that may shoot up to the arms and legs while difficulty in walking may also be experienced including a tingling sensation)," she added.

She also shared that others feel something different when urinating as well as with their bowel movements. Gloriani mentioned that it all depends as to where the inflammation occurred.

The VEP head reiterated that it is a very rare side effect, however, the European Medical Agency (EMA) indicated it in the product and explained that it is possible for it to happen.

"The benefits of this vaccine far outweigh the risks of the side effects," Gloriani said.