Rheum-CoV-2 Vaccination Case Series

Seth J. Vanderveer*, Kyle D. Maier, Erica M. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives In this case series, we present 5 cases of autoimmune rheumatic disease onset shortly after receiving mRNA vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods We identified 5 patients from Brooke Army Medical Center who developed new manifestations of rheumatic disease following the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations. All patients were initially seen in primary care and then referred to rheumatology for further evaluation and management. Clinical data were obtained through review of the electronic medical record. Results Three cases involve elderly women with insidious onset of symmetric wrist and hand polyarthritis with seropositivity for rheumatoid factor. One case involves an elderly woman with a subacute onset of lower extremity-predominant, symmetric polyarthritis. One case involves an elderly man with insidious onset of bilateral shoulder and hip stiffness and arthralgias in the setting of elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and a rapid response to glucocorticoid therapy. Conclusion Whether there exists a causal or contributory relationship between COVID-19 mRNA vaccination and the development of autoimmune rheumatic disease remains to be determined. Ultimately, further research is needed to establish if there is a true connection between the two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID mRNA vaccine
  • PMR
  • polymyalgia rheumatica
  • reactive arthritis
  • rheumatic disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis


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