COVID-19 vaccines are finally here, and our team is rejoicing with the rest of the world. Many of our team members have even been able to receive the first dose of a vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be highly effective, but as with all medications, there may be side effects. Fortunately, the possible, however rare, side effects of these COVID-19 vaccines are minimal, and they are nowhere near outweighing the good they can achieve, which is why the FDA authorized their use in the United States.

You may have read that in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial only 3 of the 30,000 participants as of December 2020 experienced temporary facial swelling. Of these 3 people, 2 received the vaccine and 1 received the placebo. The person who received the placebo had dental work two weeks prior. All 3 of these people had a history of receiving facial fillers. The swelling did subside. What does this mean for facial filler patients?

As you may be aware, facial swelling is a known possible side effect of filler injections. It is rare and is usually brought on by the addition of other stressors, such as recent dental work, illness like the flu, or other vaccines. Of the other 29,997 vaccine trial participants, we do not know who among them had a history of receiving facial fillers but did not experience facial swelling after receiving the vaccine. Further, we are not sure if the swelling was caused by the interaction between the facial filler and the vaccine, although it is possible.

We do not recommend avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine if you are a facial filler recipient in light of these rare reports of swelling. We want to encourage all patients who are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to get one, even those who have received facial fillers. Consult with your primary care physician to understand your candidacy.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about swelling. Just remember that swelling has always been a rare side effect of facial fillers, and the swelling that the 3 vaccine trial participants experienced resolved quickly. We can also recommend treatment options to swiftly heal any swelling.

We hope this explanation helps clarify the results of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. Our office will continue to abide by the best possible safety precautions to keep our patients and staff healthy during this time. Please continue to wear a mask when in proximity to those not in your household, even after you’ve received the vaccine, until the CDC advises otherwise.


Cosmetic Laser Dermatology