No association between RVO and mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, study shows
A retrospective population-based cohort study published in Jama Ophthalmology found no evidence of an association between the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination and newly diagnosed retinal vascular occlusion (RVO).
The investigation was conducted using the COVID-19 Research Network within the TriNetX Analytics platform, a federated health research network that aggregates the deidentified electronic health record (EHR) data of more than 103 million patients in 77 healthcare organizations across 9 countries.
The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence and risk of new-onset RVO after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination after some concerns were raised by some reported cases of RVO within days of the inoculation, with clinical manifestations of vision loss, scotomas and blurred vision.
The study also compared the relative risk (RR) of RVO post-COVID-19 vaccination with the RR of RVO after influenza and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccines.
Of 3,108,829 patients who received a first dose of the mRNA, 104 (0.003%) had a new diagnosis of RVO within 21 days of vaccination. After propensity score matching, the RR for new RVO diagnosis after the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination was not significantly different from that after influenza or Tdap vaccinations, but was greater when compared with the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
These findings suggest that RVO diagnosed acutely after COVID-19 vaccination occurs extremely rarely. The results of a post-hoc analysis additionally suggest that COVID-19 infection may carry a higher risk for new RVO than the mRNA vaccination.
“Further detailed research on patients experiencing RVO after vaccination is necessary to elucidate risk factors for this vision-threatening condition,” the authors concluded.
Source: Dorney I, Shaia J, Kaelber DC, Talcott KE, Singh RP. Risk of New Retinal Vascular Occlusion After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination Within Aggregated Electronic Health Record Data. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online April 13, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.0610