Can the vaccine against covid cause liver disease?

26 June, 2022

We analyze the new studies that have related liver disease and vaccines against COVID.

Isolated cases of liver inflammation have been reported after administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. In these cases, the type of liver inflammation that is observed is similar to autoimmune hepatitis (the person’s own defenses attack the liver). However, extensive studies had not been done to verify whether the vaccine could actually harm the liver.

In this sense, the Journal of Hepatology  has published a study that included 470,274 people who had a healthy liver before receiving the first dose of the COVID vaccine (RNA and adenovirus vaccines were used). As a control group, 21,784 people who did not have liver disease and who received the influenza vaccine were studied.

The authors found that among the 470,274 individuals who received the COVID vaccine, 177 (0.038%) developed liver disease. No differences were found between the frequency of liver damage induced by RNA or adenovirus vaccines (0.038% vs 0.024%). In the control group vaccinated with influenza, the frequency of appearance of liver damage was higher (0.069%).

It appear in the first, second or third dose?

Liver injury appeared after the first dose of the COVID vaccine in 14% of cases and after the second in the remaining 86%. The time from receiving the first dose to the development of liver disease was 29 days and 45 days after the second dose.

In summary, the vaccines against COVID-19 are safe as the risk of developing liver disease after their administration is not significant, and even in this study it has been observed that this risk is lower than with the flu vaccine.

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