Glaucoma cases reported post-COVID-19 vaccination : A VAERS database analysis

Background: To counter the rapidly spreading severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), global vaccination efforts were initiated in December 2020. We assess the risk of glaucoma following SARS‐CoV‐2 vaccination and evaluate its onset interval and clinical presentations in patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the glaucoma cases reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database between 16 December 2020, and 30 April 2022. We assessed the crude reporting rate of glaucoma, clinical presentations, onset duration, and associated risk factors. Results: During this period, 161 glaucoma cases were reported, with crude reporting rates (per million doses) of 0.09, 0.06, and 0.07 for BNT162b2, mRNA‐ 1273, and Ad26.COV2.S, respectively. The mean age of the patients was 60.41 ± 17.56 years, and 67.7% were women. More than half (56.6%) of the cases were reported within the first week of vaccination. The cumulative‐incidence analysis showed a higher risk of glaucoma in patients who received the BNT162b2 vaccines compared with mRNA‐1273 (p = 0.05). Conclusions: The incidence of glaucoma following vaccination with BNT162b2, mRNA‐1273, or Ad26.COV2.S is extremely rare. Amongst the patients diagnosed with glaucoma, the onset interval of adverse events was shorter among those who received the BNT162b2 and rAd26.COV2.S vaccines compared with mRNA‐1273. Most glaucoma cases were reported within the first week following vaccination in female patients and from the fifth to seventh decade. This study provides insights into the possible temporal association between reported glaucoma events and SARS‐CoV‐2 vaccines; however, further investigations are required to identify the potential causality link and pathological mechanisms.