Onset of uveitis observed within 14 days of COVID-19 vaccination

Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Uveitis

Investigators used retrospective data to identify which uveitis-related diseases might be linked to COVID-19 vaccination.

Study design

This was a Japanese retrospective multicenter study of 37 cases of patients diagnosed with ocular inflammatory events within 14 days of COVID-19 vaccination between February 2021 and December 2021. Clinicians filled out a questionnaire regarding the each patient’s clinical exam and characteristics of the inflammation.


Fifteen of the 37 cases occurred after the first vaccination and 22 occurred after the second vaccination; mean time to onset after vaccination was 6.3 days. Twenty-nine cases were first episodes of inflammation, and the remaining cases were recurrences. The primary types of uveitis-related disease seen were Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) syndrome or VKH-like uveitis; other types noted were anterior uveitis, infectious uveitis, and sarcoidosis-associated uveitis. Acute retinal necrosis and tuberculosis-associated uveitis were also seen.


A significant limitation of the study is that it is based on information from a retrospective questionnaire survey; therefore, causation cannot be proven. Because the COVID-19 vaccination rate in Japan is so high, the authors noted that it would be difficult to conduct a prospective trial with an unvaccinated control group there.

Clinical significance

Vaccination is an important protective measure against COVID-19–related complications. While uveitis cases have been reported around the time of COVID vaccination, additional data are needed to confirm causation.

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