Rare Case of Thygeson Superficial Punctate Keratitis After COVID-19 Vaccination

Cornea. 2023 Oct 1;42(10):1306-1308. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000003333. Epub 2023 Jun 27.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to elucidate a rare corneal association of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. Although cases of corneal involvement after vaccination have been reported, we present the first case of Thygeson superficial punctate keratitis (TSPK) linked to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Methods: This study is a case report.

Results: A 25-year-old woman was assessed in the ophthalmology clinic for recurrent ocular surface symptoms after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. She was followed in clinic and was found to have a remitting and recurring pattern of bilateral intraepithelial corneal opacities with associated subepithelial haze primarily overlying the pupillary area. These corneal lesions responded well to topical corticosteroid ophthalmic drops. Based on the clinical appearance, the response to treatment, negative herpes simplex virus serology, and the temporal relationship between vaccination and ocular findings, a diagnosis of COVID-19 vaccine-induced TSPK was suspected.

Conclusions: Although the COVID-19 vaccine remains overwhelmingly safe, clinicians should be aware of possible corneal side effects, including TSPK. Prompt ophthalmic assessment in those presenting with ocular symptoms after vaccination is encouraged.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • Corneal Opacity* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratitis* / diagnosis
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • COVID-19 Vaccines