Fillers and the Coronavirus Vaccine

Published January 18th, 2021

Coronavirus turned 2020 upside down.  However, there are now two vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) available for Coronavirus, which is a great step forward in ending this pandemic. 

You may have heard reports in the media of swelling in areas of fillers in some who received the Moderna vaccine during the trial.  Here are the facts and what they mean: there were three reports of swelling in the areas where fillers had previously been injected out of the 15,184 patients who received the Moderna vaccine in the trial.  The swelling occurred 1-2 days after the vaccine was given.  This reaction occurred in less that 0.02% of people who received the vaccine.  Swelling in each case resolved.  Of note, one patient had a similar reaction after a flu vaccine in the past.  No cases in the Pfizer vaccine trial were reported. 

The ASDS (American Society of Dermatologic Surgery) published guidance regarding dermal fillers and the vaccine are as follows:

  • Dermal filler inflammatory events very seldom occur with both hyaluronic acid and non-hyaluronic acid fillers.
  • Evidence suggests these reactions can be immunologically triggered by viral and bacterial illness, vaccinations (i.e., influenza vaccine) and dental procedures.
  • These rare adverse events are temporary and respond to treatments such as oral corticosteroids and hyaluronidase, and often times resolve without treatment.
  • Patients already treated with dermal fillers should not be discouraged or prevented from receiving vaccines of any kind. Patients who have had vaccines should not be prevented from receiving dermal fillers in the future.
  • In the Moderna mRNA-1273 trial, three reactions were possibly related to dermal fillers out of 15,184 vaccine recipients. It is unknown how many subjects in the trial had previous treatment with dermal fillers.
  • Dermal fillers should be administered by board-certified physicians who are experts in both the injection of dermal fillers and management of complications arising from them.

The bottom line: vaccines prevent diseases and having a previous history of fillers is not a reason not to get the vaccine when the opportunity arises. 


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