Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are associated with several ocular manifestations. Emerging evidence has been reported; however, the causality between the two is debatable.

We aimed to investigate the risk of retinal vascular occlusion after COVID-19 vaccination. This retrospective cohort study used the TriNetX global network and included individuals vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines between January 2020 and December 2022.

We excluded individuals with a history of retinal vascular occlusion or those who used any systemic medication that could potentially affect blood coagulation prior to vaccination. To compare the risk of retinal vascular occlusion, we employed multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models after performing a 1:1 propensity score matching between the vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts.

Individuals with COVID-19 vaccination had a higher risk of all forms of retinal vascular occlusion in 2 years after vaccination, with an overall hazard ratio of 2.19 (95% confidence interval 2.00–2.39). The cumulative incidence of retinal vascular occlusion was significantly higher in the vaccinated cohort compared to the unvaccinated cohort, 2 years and 12 weeks after vaccination.

The risk of retinal vascular occlusion significantly increased during the first 2 weeks after vaccination and persisted for 12 weeks. Additionally, individuals with first and second dose of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 had significantly increased risk of retinal vascular occlusion 2 years following vaccination, while no disparity was detected between brand and dose of vaccines.

This large multicenter study strengthens the findings of previous cases. Retinal vascular occlusion may not be a coincidental finding after COVID-19 vaccination

Source – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41541-023-00661-7