(WHDH) — The development of shingles is one side effect that could be linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new study.

Researchers recently identified herpes zoster — also known as shingles — as a possible side effect after six people with autoimmune inflammatory diseases received the Pfizer vaccine, according to findings published in the British Society of Rheumatology.

Herpes zoster developed in patients with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, researchers said.

Five patients developed the infection after their first vaccine dose, while one patient developed it after their second dose, according to the study. The other five patients completed the second vaccine dose without other adverse effects.

In the majority of cases, the infection was mild, researchers noted.

Immunosuppressed individuals were not included in initial COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

Researchers noted that additional epidemiologic studies on the safety of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases are needed to clarify the association with the reactivation of herpes zoster.

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