JUN 21, 2023
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
In an analysis of data from more than 3.1 million patients who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, very few patients developed retinal vein occlusion (RVO), with the relative risk of RVO within 21 days of COVID-19 vaccination no different than that seen after influenza or Tdap vaccinations.
This was a retrospective cohort analysis of an electronic health record network that included data from more than 100 million patients. Rates of RVO within 21 days after the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine were compared to RVO rates after receiving other common vaccines using historical data.
Of the more 3,108,829 patients who received a first dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, 104 (0.003%) had a new diagnosis of RVO within 21 days of vaccination. The relative risk (RR) for new RVO diagnosis after the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination was not significantly different from the risk seen after receiving influenza (RR 0.74) or Tdap (RR 0.78) vaccinations, but it was greater than the risk after a second COVID-19 vaccination after propensity score matching (RR 2.25). The relative risk for a new RVO diagnosis after COVID-19 infection was 4.25 times higher than after COVID-19 vaccination.
All cohort studies of large databases are limited by the accuracy of coding diagnoses.
Based on the data from this study, we can reassure patients that the risk of developing a post-vaccination RVO is no different between the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and other common vaccines. Furthermore, the risk of developing an RVO after COVID-19 infection is higher than after receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Financial Disclosures: Dr. Ajay Kuriyan discloses financial relationships with Adverum, Annexon, National Eye Institute (Grant Support); Alimera Sciences, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Alcon Pharmaceuticals (Consultant/Advisor); Optos (Lecture Fees/Speakers Bureau); Lumata Health, Recens Medical (Consultant/Advisor, Private Equity/Stock Holder); Spark Therapeutics (Consultant/Advisor, Lecture Fees/Speakers Bureau); Genentech (Consultant/Advisor, Lecture Fees/Speakers Bureau, Grant Support).