NHS poster about Bell’s palsy and vaccines is fake

26 January 2022
What was claimed

An official NHS poster warns that Covid-19 vaccines cause Bell’s palsy.

Our verdict

This is not a genuine NHS or UK government poster, and the MHRA says there’s currently no evidence of higher rates of Bell’s palsy following vaccination.

A picture of a fake poster claiming to have been produced by the NHS warning that the Covid-19 vaccine “causes Bell’s palsy” has been circulating on Facebook. 

The poster bears the NHS and UK government logos in the top corners and states “PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING” above a picture of a person who appears to have partial facial paralysis. Text over the image claims the poster was seen “near Heathrow”. 

This is not a genuine NHS poster. Spokespeople for both the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told Reuters and AP that the posters had not come from them and had not been authorised.

Bell's palsy is a temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting one side of the face, from which most people recover within nine months. We have covered claims about Covid-19 vaccines and the condition before.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has confirmed that it is monitoring reports of suspected Bell’s palsy following vaccination, but that the number of reports so far matches the expected natural rate. This means the available data does not currently suggest an increased risk of the condition following vaccination. 

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.