Did Justin Bieber get the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome from the COVID-19 vaccine?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Justin Bieber Got Ramsay Hunt Syndrome From Vaccine!
Just hours after Justin Bieber announced that he is suffering from the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, people started claiming that it was caused by the COVID-19 vaccine!
Here are just a few examples of the many people have posted, claiming that he’s suffering from a COVID-19 vaccine injury…
So Justin Bieber got covid vaccine side effects but they callin it something else. Figures.
Justin Bieber got that disease from the Covid 19 vaccine , they are NOT safe 💯💉
His completely healthy wife gets brain blood cloth 2 months back. Now he gets this. Both commonly known vaccine side effects. Don’t deny the facts. This is 100% crystal clear case. Sad fact that @justinbieber
can’t sue because he took it by his own will.
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Truth : Justin Bieber Did NOT Get Ramsay Hunt Syndrome From Vaccine!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Justin Bieber Has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
On 10 June 2022, Justin Bieber announced on his verified Instagram account that he is taking a break from performing, because he was suffering from the Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
He never once said that his facial paralysis was due to the COVID-19 vaccine. His facial paralysis was caused by a viral infection, as Justin himself explained in his video :
I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome and it is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis.
As you can see this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face; this nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.
Also known as herpes zoster oticus, the Ramsay Hunt syndrome refers to a shingles outbreak that affects the facial nerve, and can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss.
Fact #2 : Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Caused His Facial Paralysis
COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with the rare side effect of temporary facial paralysis called Bell’s palsy.
Bell’s palsy may present similarly as Ramsay Hunt syndrome in the form of facial paralysis on one side of the face, but they are different conditions.
It’s like how you can break your leg in a car accident, or from falling off a ladder. It’s the same injury, but the causes are different.
This is why it is wrong to blame the COVID-19 vaccine for Justin Bieber’s facial paralysis, when it developed from a past infection by an unrelated virus.
Fact #3 : Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Is Caused By Chickenpox Virus
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (Human alphaherpesvirus 3), which is the virus that causes chickenpox.
It has nothing to do with COVID-19, which is caused by a completely different virus – SARS-CoV-2, which is from a completely different virus family – Coronaviridae.
In fact, for Justin Bieber to develop Ramsay Hunt syndrome, he must have had a chickenpox infection in the past.
Even after a chickenpox infection resolves, the virus remains dormant in our nervous system. The dormant virus can reactivate later in life in about ⅓ of cases, causing shingles (herpes zoster).
Fact #4 : Chickenpox Vaccine Prevents Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Shingles and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are caused by the dormant varicella-zoster virus (VZV). They are prevented by the chickenpox vaccine.
By vaccinating children against chickenpox, you are also protecting them from shingles and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome in the future.
Fact #5 : Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Was Not Caused By Vaccination
Anti-vaccination activists are pointing to a BMJ report from Hong Kong called “Ramsay Hunt syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination” as “evidence” that Bieber’s condition was caused by his COVID-19 vaccination.
There are a few problems with that claim :
- No one knows if Justin Bieber was even vaccinated against COVID-19.
- He was assumed to be vaccinated, because his concerts in February 2022 required people to be vaccinated.
- The Hong Kong report detailed a single case of Ramsay Hunt syndrome in someone who was vaccinated. It was not a study that confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines cause the Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
- The man in the report developed Ramsay Hunt syndrome two days after getting vaccinated.
- If Justin Bieber was vaccinated, he would have been vaccinated last year, not recently.
- Ramsay Hunt syndrome cannot occur without a prior chickenpox infection.
- The Hong Kong authors postulated that after being vaccinated, the immune system’s ability to suppress the varicella zoster virus may have been temporarily dampened by the switch to producing immune cells that target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
So let me state this clearly – Ramsay Hunt Syndrome cannot be caused by the COVID-19 vaccine, because it’s caused by a past infection of an unrelated virus. See Fact #3.
Even if that stressful event was the vaccination (which include fear of the vaccine), it cannot possibly occur in anyone who was not first infected by the varicella zoster virus.
Fact #6 : Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Can Be Triggered By Stress / Infection
Like shingles, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS) can be triggered by stress. Could the stress of preparing to perform have triggered Justin Bieber’s condition?
Why not? After all, RHS naturally occurs in about 5 in 100,000 people per year. That’s approximately 400,000 cases per year globally.
RHS could have also been triggered by any infection, or medication that may suppress the immune system. Even a COVID-19 infection can potentially trigger RHS, but note that I’m not saying he got COVID-19. We also don’t know if he was on any medication.
Unless Justin happened to receive another booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine days before he developed RHS, it would be wrong to blame his condition on the vaccine.
Fact #6 : Hailey Bieber’s Mini Stroke Was Caused By Hole In Heart
Justin Bieber’s wife, Hailey Bieber, had a mini stroke (technically a transient ischaemic attack or TIA) in March 2022.
The TIA was found to be caused by a blood clot which passed through a large hole in her heart, called patent foramen ovale (PFO), and travelled to her brain.
A transcranial doppler ultrasound showed that she had a grade 5 PFO – the highest grade of right-left shunt in PFO, allowing a large clot to pass to the brain. She underwent a procedure to close the PFO.
Neither her mini stroke nor the hole in the heart were caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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