A recent study found that the live herpes zoster virus vaccine does not, in fact, cause a higher risk of anterior segment complications in patients.

Using a healthcare database in the United States of nine million patients, the study authors evaluated records for herpes zoster-related anterior segment diseases, or “events.” Patients who did not have an event before the index dates were separated into two cohorts. On the index date, cohort one received the live virus vaccine while cohort two was diagnosed with nonophthalmic zoster. The recurrent cohorts consisted of those who had an event at least six months prior to the index date. They were placed into cohorts three and four based on the same criteria as cohorts one and two, respectively.

Of the participants, 72,141 were vaccine-users and 133,604 were not. In cohort one, 379 events occurred compared with 1,032 in cohort two. Among patients with recurrent disease, 2,679 used the vaccine and 9,421 did not. There were 16 events in cohort three and 86 in cohort four.

From these findings, the study concludes that there is no further risk of anterior segment complications in patients who use the live virus vaccine.

Liu RT, Yeung SN, Carleton B, et al. Risk of anterior segment complications associated with the live herpes zoster vaccine: evidence from a health-claim database. Cornea. 2018;37(8):952-6.