The Pfizer COVID vaccine has been linked to a 61-year-old man that has developed Bell’s palsy after receiving two doses of the shot.

According to a report in the journal BMJ Case Reports, about five hours after receiving the first COVID inoculation, the man began to experience weakness and a lack of movement on the right side of his face.

Two days after the second dose of the vaccine he had trouble swallowing and began to dribble.

His symptoms dissipated and he was almost back to normal after a short course of steroids both times after receiving the shot, the report said.

Bell’s palsy is believed to happen when the facial nerve becomes inflamed from an infection, causing weakness or lack of movement on one side.

In most cases, it improves within nine months and in seven out of 10 cases, it makes a full recovery, Yahoo News reported. Three out of 10 cases have weakness persist and two in 10 cases have more long-term problems, such as difficulty speaking, eating, or drinking, according to the news outlet.

The test trial that Pfizer-BioNTech conducted for the COVID vaccine had four reported cases of Bell’s palsy, but this is the first known case of the disorder occurring in a person after two doses of the COVID shot.

While the man had never experienced Bell’s palsy prior to the incident, he did have some risk factors for facial weakness, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. But the attending medics did not find any serious cause for concern for the side effects.

“The patient has been advised to discuss future mRNA vaccines [the technology used to develop the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs] with the GP on a case-by-case basis, taking into account risk versus benefit of having each vaccine," medics wrote in the report, according to Yahoo.

They continued by saying, although it is unclear, the vaccine may "reactivate" a dormant virus lying within the central nervous system, "causing facial nerve inflammation or oedema [a build-up of fluid].”

The man did test negative for COVID antibodies on June 16, 2020, but it is unknown if he caught the virus at a later date. It is possible that he reactivated the herpes virus or the varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, which can lie dormant in the body for longer periods, the report said.

The medics concluded that “The occurrence of the episodes immediately after each vaccine dose strongly suggests the Bell's palsy was attributed to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, although a causal relationship cannot be established.”

Test trials of the Moderna COVID vaccine also reported three cases of volunteers that developed Bell’s palsy, but also one case was reported in the placebo group, and three cases in the AstraZeneca vaccine clinical trials, and three cases in the placebo group, The Telegraph said.

The European Medicines Agency said that evidence suggests that "both doses of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine... are needed to provide adequate protection against the Delta variant"
A COVID vaccine is pictured here. AFP / Sergei GAPON