Acute graft rejection in a high-risk corneal transplant following COVID-19 vaccination: A case report

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2021 Dec;69(12):3757-3758. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2515_21.


As COVID-19 vaccination is being undertaken all over the world, its side effects are materializing slowly. One such emerging side effect is acute graft rejection in corneal transplant (CT) cases post COVID-19 vaccination. We report a case of left eye (LE) repeat penetrating keratoplasty presenting with diminished vision in LE within 2 days of COVID-19 vaccination (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Corona Virus Vaccine Recombinant, COVISHIELD™). The patient was diagnosed with acute graft rejection post vaccination and was treated with topical and systemic immunosuppression therapy with successful outcome in terms improvement of visual acuity and corneal graft clarity. Timely presentation, diagnosis, and management may help to survive acute rejection episodes post vaccination.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccination; graft rejection; high-risk corneal transplant; repeat penetrating keratoplasty.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Corneal Diseases* / surgery
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / adverse effects
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • COVID-19 Vaccines