Facial Fillers. We love them for correcting wrinkles, smoothing lips, lifting cheeks and jowls? Yes! You may have read or seen the news about facial filler inflammation after the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination in the clinical trial. This mild reaction was seen in three trial participants out of the 15,000 that were vaccinated. Two of the cases of swelling were seen in participants who had cheek filler performed before the vaccine was administered, and one case was seen in a participant who had lip filler that was performed two days after the vaccine was given. One of the patients had a similar reaction in the past after receiving her flu vaccine. Most importantly, ALL of these cases resolved completely with treatment with antihistamines and steroids.
Why do these reactions happen? Well, we want the vaccine to rev up our immune system …the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is doing a great job of that! The vaccine was 94.5% effective and of the 15,000 patients in the clinical trial, NONE had severe reactions to COVID-19 or became extremely sick with COVID-10! As with any vaccine, the immune system can become a little overly ambitious, and with this vaccine the immune system reacted to substances seen as “foreign,” such as dermal filler. Once again, these three reactions were all correctable with simple medical management.
Do you need to worry if you have had fillers and want to get the COVID-19 vaccine? NO! Your safety and health are the utmost important and you should get vaccinated. Should you have a problem with your filler, our providers at Pure Dermatology are comfortable handling any filler reaction that may occur.
Of note, these inflammatory reactions to filler have not been noted with the Pfizer vaccine thus far in the 20,000 participants that were injected with the vaccine in the trial. As of December 28th, 2020, more than 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States with a very good safety profile. There were several cases of severe allergic reactions in patients with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines or shellfish. All of these allergic reactions were successfully reversed with EpiPens and medical management. If you have a history of severe allergies to vaccines in the past, it is suggested that you get the vaccine administered in or near a hospital.
We may see more reports of filler swelling, but we also may not! There is no reason to avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you have had fillers in the past. If you get vaccinated, it may be worth waiting two weeks between your vaccination and filler – just like we currently recommend with dental procedures.
Both Dr. Holcomb and Dr. Haseltine plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them, and they have both had facial fillers! Please call Pure Dermatology with any questions that you may have about facial fillers and your vaccine and we will be happy to see you for an appointment. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and hopeful 2021! Happy New Year!