Autoimmune Hepatitis Reported Following COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination

May 26, 2022

Autoimmune hepatitis involves inflammation of the liver resulting from the immune system mistakenly attacking liver cells, which can result in cirrhosis and liver failure. The exact cause of the disease has been unclear up to this point, though genetic and environmental factors have been suspected to interact and trigger the disease over time.

A peer-reviewed case report published yesterday in the journal Cureus discusses the first documented case of a reactivation of autoimmune hepatitis in remission following the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine. Two weeks after the patient’s second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, routine labs showed that her liver enzymes were elevated for the first time since her initial diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis in 2016. Her only other past medical history included chronic sinusitis and insomnia.

Nine previously published case studies have also reported cases of autoimmune hepatitis being diagnosed after the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). There has been a debate within the medical literature on whether these associations between COVID vaccination and autoimmune hepatitis are due to causality or coincidence.  Further research is needed to investigate the possibility of potential autoimmune dysregulation in some individuals following receipt of mRNA vaccines.