A group of researchers in Israel has concluded that a mRNA-based vaccine could activate herpes zoster (shingles) in a limited number of people with rheumatic diseases.
The viral infection, which can cause a painful rash, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is also responsible for chickenpox.
In a study focusing on individuals with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRD), researchers at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Carmel Medical Center in Haifa followed 491 patients and 99 controls. A total of six patients with AIIRD, or 1.2%, had a reactivation of herpes zoster after vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX).
No patients in the control arm developed shingles in the study published in Rheumatology.
The researchers acknowledged that the st…