There have been a number of media reports recently about patients who have had facial fillers and who then developed reactions after administration of the COVID vaccine. In fact, there have been only 3 such reactions reported so far in the world at this time.
It appears only to have happened with the Moderna vaccine. No such cases have been seen with the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
Considering the fact that there are over 2.6 million injections of facial fillers in the United States annually, these reactions are obviously very rare. The incidents of facial swelling that have occurred have been mild and quickly resolved with oral medications.
None of the cases were considered anaphylactic or life threatening. None required hospitalizations or even use of an EpiPen.
The current theory is that the reaction may be caused by a revving up of immune systems. Fortunately, the swelling reaction appears to be very rare and easily manageable.
Aesthetic medicine societies currently recomend not having facial fillers injected for 2 weeks before or after being administered the COVID vaccine, just as a precaution. The FDA and manufacturers of COVID vaccines are continuing to monitor for any future reactions of this type.
The Center for Disease Control states that having a history of dermal facial fillers should not bar someone from being vaccinated. In fact, the risks of acquiring COVID-19 infections far outweigh the risks of these reactions.
For us here at Maine Laser Skin Care, the take home message is that we encourage everyone to get vaccinated for COVID-19 once it is available in your area and once you are eligible. We all can reach herd immunity more safely and quickly this way.
In the meantime, until you are vaccinated, please continue to practice safe social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask whenever you go out in public. We still have a long way to go before this pandemic finally ends.