A multicenter Israeli study from Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center found the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine “may be linked to a form of eye inflammation called uveitis” reports the Jerusalem Post. The research was accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed ophthalmology journal Retina.
Habot-Wilner, head of the Uveitis Service at the hospital, found that 21 people (23 eyes) who had received two shots of the Pfizer vaccine developed uveitis within one to 14 days after receiving their first shot or within one day to one month after the second. Twenty-one people developed anterior uveitis, and two developed Multiple Evanescent White Dot Syndrome (MEWDS).
Habot-Wilner did stress that developing uveitis from vaccination is “quite rare” but that eye inflammation has been associated with vaccines. “It is very uncommon, but if you do feel something is wrong with your eyes, if you have pain, redness or vision deterioration, please visit your eye doctor.”
She said “all patients in the study met the World Health Organization and Naranjo criteria linking the onset of uveitis to the vaccination. This time frame is consistent with other reports of uveitis following various vaccines.”
Habot-Wilner also said any patients with other systemic diseases that could have been related to uveitis were under control prior to vaccination. Also, none of the patients had any changes in their systemic treatments for at least six months before getting vaccinated. Eight of the patients had a prior history with uveitis, but none had a history less than one to 15 years prior.
She also said most cases were mild and only three were severe. They were treated by topical corticosteroids and eye drops. MEWDS cases, as accepted, were not addressed. “Only one case worsened after receiving the second dose” she added.
“The conclusion is that I do recommend getting vaccinated for people with or without a history of uveitis” said Habot-Wilner. But she stressed the need for an ocular exam and to be treated properly if anyone does experience a uveitis attack after receiving the vaccine. She also advised people continue with getting the second dose even if uveitis occurs after the first dose.