Herpes zoster after COVID vaccination

Int J Infect Dis. 2021 Oct;111:169-171. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2021.08.048. Epub 2021 Aug 21.


COVID-19 presents in various ways, but mainly as a pulmonary disease (Marzano, 2020). Skin manifestations have been reported, including reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (Marzano, 2020). Our case report describes two adults developing herpes zoster after vaccination with tozinameran (the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine). A possible cause for this reaction is a transient lymphocytopenia that occurs after the vaccination - similar to that in COVID-19 disease (Mulligan, 2020; Wang, 2020; Qin, 2020; Brabilla, 2020; Wang, 2020; Wei, 2017). In the context of vaccinating older and/or immunocompromised adults, our observations can be the starting point for further evaluation of a possible relationship between COVID-19, COVID vaccines, and herpes zoster.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Herpes Zoster* / diagnosis
  • Herpes Zoster* / drug therapy
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines