Oral Health beyond COVID-19

Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

Soon after vaccination campaign kicked off, we described a case of facial paralysis following Pfizer-Biontech dose 1 vaccine injection. This was the world’s first case reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature occurring post-marketing with any COVID-19 vaccine1. On the back of these observations, I scrutinised all the known and reported orofacial adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. My research report showed that there was heterogeneity in the acknowledgement of these adverse events in North America compared to Europe, as well as inconsistencies and omissions in the description of oral adverse effects2.

Diagnostic delays in head and neck cancer during pandemic.

The 2020 pandemic has had tremendous repercussions on healthcare beyond COVID-19. In a cross-sectional study, we analysed the diagnostic and treatment patterns of head and neck cancer during lockdown and found that delay in diagnosis was remarkable.3 A further retrospective observational study focussing on oral cancer confirmed that lockdown measures were associated with diagnostic delay.4 We went on to analyse the reasons and barriers behind this delay with a hope of informing future healthcare policies and decisions in a way that is more sustainable to people’s health and wellbeing.5

  • 1 Colella G, Orlandi M, Cirillo N. Bell’s palsy following COVID-19 vaccination. J Neurol 2021; doi: 10.1007/s00415-021-10462
  • 2 Cirillo N. Reported orofacial adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines: the knowns and the unknowns. J Oral Pathol Med 2021; doi: 10.1111/jop.13165
  • 3 Lo Giudice G, Cirillo N, Colella G. Diagnostic patterns and delays of head and neck cancer during COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study from Southern Italy. [Submitted for publication]
  • 4 Colella G, Lo Giudice G, Cirillo N. Impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on diagnosis and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma. [Submitted for publication]
  • 5 Colella G, Lo Giudice G, Cirillo N. Barriers to healthcare access for head and neck cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic. [Submitted for publication]