Does the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Cause Swelling for People With Fillers? Here’s What You Need to Know

Covid vaccine has caused swelling for some patients who have facial fillers.

The first good news of 2021 is here: COVID-19 vaccines are finally rolling out!

Amid the great news, you may have seen reports about Moderna’s vaccine causing swelling in people who have dermal fillers. At our San Diego plastic surgery practice, your safety is our #1 concern at all times. That’s why, in this blog post, we want to talk about what these reports are showing, what it means for our fellow filler lovers, and why this news is nothing to stress about.

Is it True a New COVID Vaccine Caused Swelling for People With Fillers?

Yes, it’s true, but it’s not as alarming as the headlines make it sound. Here’s what the FDA announced during a recent panel on the vaccine:

  • During Moderna’s phase 3 trial for their new COVID vaccine, 3 people with fillers experienced facial swelling 1 to 2 days after getting vaccinated.
  • One person had filler injected 6 months before getting the vaccine, one had it injected 2 weeks before, and one had lip filler injected 2 days later.
  • The swelling was localized and resolved itself after treatment with antihistamines or steroids.

While there isn’t any official word on which type of fillers were injected, some doctors speculate they were formulated with hyaluronic acid. That’s the main ingredient in some of the most popular filler formulations, including JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®.

Woman receiving a botox injection in the eye zone lying in bathrobe on the medical couch

Why Did the Moderna Vaccine Cause Swelling for People With Fillers?

Vaccines cause the immune system to spring into action, which leads to swelling in some rare cases. Filler material is foreign to the body, so it draws more of an inflammatory response. This is why the swelling was localized in areas with filler.

While this reaction is rare, it doesn’t just happen as a result of this specific COVID vaccine. Any increased immune response has the potential to cause swelling. Other vaccines, sinus infections, and even dental cleanings can spur a temporary reaction. The person in the trial who experienced swelling in the lips was a longtime filler user and had experienced a similar reaction after a past flu shot.

Should I Be Worried About Getting the COVID Vaccine if I Have Fillers?

We don’t think so, and here’s why:

  • Swelling after vaccination is rare. Only 3 people experienced it of the 30,351 adults in the phase 3 trial.
  • It did not cause any danger and was easily treatable or resolved itself on its own.

The Aesthetic Society recently released a statement affirming the safety of the vaccine for filler users:

“Having a history of dermal fillers should not bar someone from being vaccinated. The risks from acquiring and being infected with the COVID-19 virus far outweigh the risks from a reaction to one of the vaccines if the patient has a history of using dermal fillers.”

Golden syringe on a pink background

Our Commitment to Your Safety

The only thing our injectors care more about than helping you feel confident is making sure you’re safe. Our team has extensive experience with fillers and any possible reactions to them, and they are more than happy to answer questions and support you as vaccines continue to roll out.

If you’d like to get in touch with us to learn more, please contact us online or call our La Jolla medical spa at (858) 788-7989. Stay well!

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