A case of reactivation of varicella-zoster virus after BNT162b2 vaccine second dose?

Inflamm Res. 2021 Sep;70(9):935-937. doi: 10.1007/s00011-021-01491-w. Epub 2021 Aug 14.


We report a case of itchy papulovesicular rash consistent with varicella-zoster virus reactivation after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine second dose administration. While there have been cases of varicella-zoster virus reactivation due to COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccine inoculation in older individuals with pre-existing conditions, this case report describes the first case of varicella-zoster virus reactivation on a healthy, young male in the absence of pre-existing conditions. The mechanisms underlying varicella-zoster virus reactivation in patients with COVID-19 are unknown and should be further characterized.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccinations; Pfizer-BioNTech; Shingles; Varicella–zoster virus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • BNT162 Vaccine
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Chickenpox / etiology*
  • Chickenpox / pathology
  • Chickenpox / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin / pathology
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • BNT162 Vaccine