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CLAIM ID

83ded5a2

Justin Bieber's Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is linked to the COVID-19 vaccine.

There's no evidence a COVID-19 vaccine caused the singer's facial paralysis. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks.

Context:

On June 10, Canadian singer Justin Bieber revealed he'd been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a condition that had paralyzed one side of his face. The singer released a video on Instagram and announced that he was "physically, obviously, not capable" of performing any shows in the near future.

Following Bieber's announcement, social media saw a large amount of false and misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. For instance, a Facebook video with over 5k views and 130 comments insinuates that the singer's condition is an adverse effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. The user writes, "Could this all be caused by the roll out of a new 'medical advancement'?"

In fact:

Currently, there is insufficient evidence that Bieber's condition has anything to do with a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Facial Palsy U.K., Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a "complication of shingles" caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chicken pox. People who develop Ramsay Hunt Syndrome are those who have previously suffered from chicken pox. Stress can trigger the chickenpox virus to reemerge, which then causes shingles or Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.

Dr. Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist who uses TikTok to fight health-related misinformation, has explained that the singer's case is an example of "why vaccines are important." She states that the chicken pox vaccine for children "will protect against shingles" in adult years.

While speaking to The Rolling Stones, Wallace asserted that "current evidence is not sufficient to attribute a definitive link between the shingles (VZV reactivation) and the Covid-19 vaccine."

Verdict:

The COVID-19 vaccine has not caused Justin Bieber's Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. The benefit of the vaccine continues to outweigh any potential risks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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