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The Covid-19 Vaccine and Dermal Fillers

In the last few days, there have been several reports about the impact the Moderna jab - which has just been approved for use in the UK- has had on patients with fillers. So, what are the facts? What reactions have occurred? How many people has it affected? And should this put people with fillers off having the vaccine? I spoke to two top practitioners to find out.

Fillers and the Covid vaccine: What’s the issue?

The coronavirus jabs are finally here and we can start looking towards a Covid-free future after what’s felt like an ETERNITY! Thank God! But one thing that’s cropped up in the news is the Moderna vaccine reactions in people who have dermal fillers, which has left some people feeling worried or uncertain as to whether they should now get the jab if they have fillers. So, what are the facts? Well, it seems that a handful of people who have had the Moderna vaccine in the US AND who have fillers have experienced some mild reactions such as facial swelling.

Is it safe to have the Covid vaccine if you have fillers?

Dermal fillers are hugely popular cosmetic treatments, with millions of people getting them each year to plump, rejuvenate or change the shape of selected areas of the face. But does this mean that people who have fillers should worry about getting the Covid-19 vaccine? Absolutely not.

Dr MJ of Smileworks in Liverpool says, “Swelling of previously placed dermal filler after Covid vaccination has been evidenced in around 3 out of 30,000 doses. That’s around 0.01%. Time to freak out?! No.”

And here’s why. Dr MJ explains that “vaccinations trigger an immune response. That’s a fact, and that’s what they are meant to do. Sometimes, this results in parts of the body swelling up. Dermal filler sometimes swells months or years after it has been placed. This is called delayed hypersensitivity reaction. The cause is often poorly understood, but may be due to an infection (yes, even Covid), or anything else that triggers the immune system. Like a vaccination.

Is it just the Covid vaccine that causes this? Probably not. All vaccinations cause an immune response, and swelling, rashes, flu-like symptoms and malaise found as a side effect on most vaccinations. That is how we know the body is processing it. Chances are, we’re not looking so closely at other vaccines right now, but if we were, there’d be a whole host of side effects we might want to argue about. These types of reactions happen, and are usually self-limiting.

To give you some perspective, vascular occlusions from filler are 0.1%. So they’re TEN TIMES more likely than a delayed hypersensitivity from any Covid vaccine. If you’re getting that done by some girl at the salon, make that a hundred.”

Dr MJ advises people to listen to just the facts, “keep perspective and keep chill.” Wise words for sure!

How aesthetic practitioners can protect their patients

Dr Tristan Mehta - founder of Harley Academy - explains, “it is wise for aesthetic practitioners to adjust their clinical consultation during this time” and that alongside establishing the patient’s mental health, “you will also need to know about their vaccination status.”

This means you’ll want to find out whether they are due to have the vaccine soon or whether they have already had it. He advises that “Should you discover they are about to receive either their first or second dose of the Moderna vaccine, you may wish to defer treatment.

At Harley Academy, our rule for these vaccines will be that patients can be treated with filler either four weeks before the first dose, or four weeks after the second dose.”

Dr Tristan emphasises the importance of practitioners being as clear and transparent as possible with their patients.

So, if you have fillers, you should very much still go ahead and have the Covid-19 vaccine. After all, it’s here to protect us from the virus we never thought we’d experience in our lifetime, and the more people who don’t get it, the longer it will take to disappear and the more deaths and illness we’ll see. The important thing is to listen carefully to the facts and make sure you are seeing a medically qualified practitioner who is up to date with the most accurate information surrounding the Covid-19 jab and any potential side effects. And remember that there will always be a chance of side effects with fillers - something which any practitioner should always advise you on.

To find out more about fillers, the benefits, side effects and more, check out our awesome treatment guide containing everything you need to know.

*Article accurate at the time of publishing (08/01/2021)

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