Herpes infections may now be a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, experts have now revealed.
Scientists in Israel identified six cases in a new study of patients developing a skin rash known as herpes zoster after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, according to a study in the Rheumatology journal.
Herpes zoster according to experts starts out as a small, itchy skin rash, but if left untreated could cause nerve damage and pain, the Jerusalem Post Reports.
It can lead to a prolonged burning sensation to the skin, even after the rash disappears.
Researchers from the famous Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and Carmel Medical Center in Haifa found those with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases are at a higher risk of developing herpes.
Our of 491 patients, 1.2% of people experienced the infection, researches said.
The patients have all had mile cases of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases and were young, though the infection is generally more common in those over the age of 50.
“That is why we reported on it,” Dr. Victoria Furer, who is the lead author, told the outlet.
Five of them developed herpes zoster after the first dose and the sixth got it after the second.
But it’s still unclear whether the vaccine caused the cases of herpes zoster.
“We cannot say the vaccine is the cause at this point,” Furer told the outlet. “We can say it might be a trigger in some patients.”
Thanks to our friends at The New York Post for contributing to this article.