• Is the COVID vaccine safe if I had a corneal transplant?


    Question:

    Is it is safe for to get a COVID vaccine if I had a corneal transplant in 1994?  I had a rejection after the flu shot. Can I get the COVID vaccine without rejection?


    Answer:

    There have been a few cases of corneal transplant rejection occurring shortly after taking both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. However, the rate is extremely low compared to millions of people who have been vaccinated. While we do not know if the vaccines themselves directly caused the rejections, the rate of rejection is similar to that of other vaccines, such as the flu shot.

    Corneal transplant patients should know the signs of rejection (blurred vision, red eye, or light sensitivity) so that they can notify their doctor immediately if they suspect one is happening.

    You should also discuss with your ophthalmologist if starting or increasing the dose of topical steroids around the time of vaccination is advisable to prevent rejection. Even with the potential risk of transplant rejection, COVID-19 vaccination is highly recommended since transplant rejection can usually be managed successfully while COVID-19 infection can lead to severe consequences.


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