INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some transplant recipients are rejecting their new organ and scientists say the coronavirus vaccine may be to blame.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, acute corneal allografts are being rejected by immunized patients who’ve undergone the procedure. Researchers say the underlying cause could be tied to a systemic inflammatory response elicited by the shot post-jab.
The cornea is the outermost layer of a person’s eye. Corneal grafts are used to restore a damaged cornea. The surgery is known to be one of the most successful organ transplant procedures with low rejection rates. It restores vision, reduces eye pain and improves the appearance of the diseased cornea.
Japanese researchers compiled data from 23 studies. A total of 23 eyes from 21 patients who had undergone corneal graft procedures were assessed. Graft rejection occurred anywhere from one day to six weeks after vaccination in all patients–some who underwent the procedure as far back as twenty years ago.
“As the virus continues to spread, additional booster COVID-19 vaccines are expected,” study authors wrote in the paper. “Therefore, proper follow-up of corneal allograft recipients and interventions to prevent corneal allograft rejection after they received the COVID-19 may be crucial.”
Among the list of emerging complications linked to the vaccine are blood clots, heart inflammation and Guillain-Barre syndrome.