After the Storm: Ophthalmic Manifestations of COVID-19 Vaccines

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Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and approved for use around the world from December 2020, to combat the pandemic caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several ophthalmic manifestations of the COVID-19 vaccines have been reported by ophthalmologists. This review was undertaken to recognize, encourage active reporting and determine the pathogenesis and time of appearance for better awareness and understanding of the ophthalmic manifestations of COVID-19 vaccines. A literature search was performed for publications on the ophthalmic manifestations of COVID-19 vaccines between January 1, 2021 and November 7, 2021. 23 case reports, 17 letters to editors, 3 ophthalmic images, 4 brief communications, 4 retrospective cohort studies and 2 case control studies were included. Posterior segment, including the uvea, choroid and retinal vasculature, was most commonly affected and the reported clinical features developed at a median of four days from the time of vaccination. The possible mechanisms include molecular mimicry of the vaccine components with host ocular tissues, antigen-specific cell and antibody-mediated hypersensitivity reactions to viral antigens and adjuvants present in the vaccines. The causal relationship of the ocular signs and symptoms and COVID-19 vaccines has not been established and requires long-term and large multicentre data. Most of the reported manifestations are mild, transient and adequately treated when diagnosed and managed early. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweighs the reported rare adverse events and should not be a deterrent to vaccination.




Sen, M., & Honavar, S. (2021, December 1). After the Storm: Ophthalmic Manifestations of COVID-19 Vaccines. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications.

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