Inactivated COVID-19 vaccine-related herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia: Three case reports

Agri. 2023 Apr;35(2):103-106. doi: 10.14744/agri.2021.66642.


Vaccination programs against COVID-19 have been implemented all over the world since December 2020. Beside the common side effects of vaccines, there are also increasing reports of herpes zoster (HZ) activation. In this report, we describe three cases of HZ, one of them with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) after receiving inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. The first two patients developed HZ 8 and 10 days after vaccination, respectively. When pain could not be controlled with paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, the patients received weak opioid codeine. In addition, the first patient received gabapentin, and the second patient was applied erector spinae plane block. The third patient was admitted 4 months after the diagnosis of HZ and considered to have PHN and pain palliation was provided with tramadol. Although the exact cause has not yet been fully resolved, increased reports of HZ after vaccination suggests a link between vaccines and HZ. Considering that receiving COVID-19 vaccines will going on, HZ and PHN cases will continue to be seen. More epidemiological studies are needed to further evaluate the relationship between COVID-19 vaccines and HZ.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Herpes Zoster* / drug therapy
  • Herpes Zoster* / prevention & control
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic* / etiology
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic* / prevention & control


  • COVID-19 Vaccines