Auto-immune hepatitis following COVID vaccination

J Autoimmun. 2021 Sep:123:102688. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2021.102688. Epub 2021 Jul 3.


Unprecedented loss of life due to the COVID pandemic has necessitated the development of several vaccines in record time. Most of these vaccines have received approval without being extensively whetted for their adverse effect and efficacy profiles. Most adverse effects have been mild, nonetheless, more serious thromboembolic events have also been reported. Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) can occur in predisposed individuals where an immune mediated reaction against hepatocytes is triggered by environmental factors. Vaccines are a very rare cause of AIH. We report two such cases of AIH triggered by COVID (Covishield) vaccination. While one patient made an uneventful recovery, another succumbed to the liver disease. Ours is the first report of Covishield vaccination related AIH and second ever after any form of COVID vaccination. We hope that our report does not deter COVID vaccination drives. However, we also hope to raise awareness of its potential side effects and the increased role of pharmacovigilance in guiding treatment.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Auto-immune hepatitis; COVID-19; Covishield; Molecular mimicry; Outcomes; Pharmacovigilance; SARS-CoV-2; Treatment; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / etiology*
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / complications
  • Jaundice / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Immunological
  • Pandemics*
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19