Recent reports have highlighted a possible reaction of delayed facial swelling in a small number of dermal filler patients who got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
It is believed that this swelling is an immune response to the vaccine, and is fairly easy to treat in most cases. Similar symptoms are known to be side effects after getting vaccines for similar illnesses, like the flu and shingles.
Because of these reports, many people who already have facial fillers or who are considering getting fillers in the future undoubtedly have some questions. Below are some of the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and fillers, and what you should know before your next appointment.
How common is this side effect?
This side effect was not seen in the Pfizer vaccine trials. This side effect only occurred in three out of 30,000 people who have received it in a Moderna vaccine trial. It has not been reported outside of the trials as far as we know. (I spoke to representatives from the filler companies who have been in touch with both Pfizer and Moderna.)
Can I get the COVID vaccine if I already have fillers?
Yes, you can still get the vaccine, even if you already have fillers. This facial swelling is a relatively rare occurrence, and the benefits of the COVID vaccine, especially for those in high-risk groups, outweigh the risks of potential delayed swelling from facial fillers.
If you already have fillers and are getting the COVID vaccine, keep an eye out for signs of swelling, contacting your filler provider or family physician if you notice any adverse effects.
Your doctor can prescribe antihistamines, steroids and, in some cases, antibiotics to quell the reaction.
How long should I wait to get fillers after the vaccine?
We recommend not getting fillers at least two weeks before or after the COVID vaccine. If you are planning to get the COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, let your dermal filler provider know so that he or she can schedule your appointment around this.
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