MONDAY, April 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 vaccines do not increase the risk for new-onset retinal vascular occlusion (RVO), according to a study published online April 13 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Ian Dorney, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues compared the incidence of new acute RVO diagnosis after the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine versus the influenza and tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccines. The analysis included electronic health record data from 103 million patients.

The researchers found that of 3.1 million patients who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, 104 (0.003 percent) had a new diagnosis of RVO within 21 days of vaccination. In a propensity score-matched analysis, there was no significant difference noted in the risk for new RVO diagnosis after the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination versus after the influenza (relative risk, 0.74; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 1.01) or Tdap (relative risk, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.44 to 1.38) vaccinations. However, risk was greater after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination (relative risk, 2.25; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.33 to 3.81).

“The findings of this study suggest that RVO diagnosed acutely after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination occurs extremely rarely at rates similar to those of two different historically used vaccinations, the influenza and Tdap vaccines,” the authors write.

Two study authors disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

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