…Nothing to worry about –Radiologist
New reports show that about 20 per cent of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine are experiencing swollen lymph nodes.
Swollen lymph nodes, according to experts, usually occur as a result of infection from bacteria or viruses.
The lymph nodes, however, play a vital role in the body’s ability to fight off infections.
In an article posted on University Hospitals’ website, radiology-breast imaging specialist, Holly Marshall, said one should not be worried if you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and later feel a new lump or tenderness under your arm, near your armpit, or on your neck.
“But you can put that worry firmly aside – at least for a couple of weeks,” says Dr. Marshall, who is also the Division Chief, Breast Imaging at UH Cleveland Medical Center.
“Those lumps are in response to COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Marshall says. They indicate that your body is marshalling its powers to fight the perceived intruder – exactly what is supposed to happen following inoculation.
“It’s a normal occurrence while your body is building an immune response to fight the virus,” Dr. Marshall says. “The swelling may be a sign that the body is making antibodies in response to the vaccine as intended.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 11.6 per cent of vaccine recipients experienced swollen lymph nodes after one COVID-19 dose, and 16 per cent after the second. Swelling typically appeared within two to four days after vaccination.
“Sometimes with other vaccines, occasionally we will see swollen lymph nodes, but it was unexpected how many swollen lymph nodes our breast radiologists have been seeing on screening mammograms of patients who have been vaccinated,” Dr. Marshall says.
“The lymph nodes should return to normal size anywhere from in a couple of weeks up to a month or two later.
“If the swelling doesn’t go away in a couple of months, talk with your doctor about getting the swelling evaluated.
“Wait a few weeks, and if there’s no change, then come in and we will evaluate it.
“If you undergo a screening mammogram after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you might get called back for an ultrasound if your lymph nodes appear swollen on the scan,
“The follow-up ultrasound helps physicians ensure the swelling is not due to a malignancy,” Dr. Marshall says.
The physician also noted that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not a reason to delay a mammogram.
“It’s still very important for women to get an annual mammogram starting at age 40,” she says. “Do not delay.”
The CDC also reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions – also known as anaphylaxis – after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
“As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen or if they must go to the hospital.
“If you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose.
“If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.
“CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies—get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated,” it said.
According to medical experts, chills are one of the side effects of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. While they are typically mild, some people are experiencing severe fever and chills and they end up in the hospital.
According to ABC27, 67-year-old Cathy Husler from Mifflintown got her first COVID-19 shot on February 3, started having chills the next day, and a day after that, had chills so bad, she had to be admitted to the Emergency Room.
“When I got to the ER, my temperature was 103.8, and I just kept having chills,” Husler said.
However, CDC recommends getting the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine even if one experiences side effects after the first shot “unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
“It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot,” CDC noted.
A virology lecturer at the Department of Virology, University of Ibadan, Dr. Olusola Babatunde, said when people are vaccinated the initial time, they will have a fever, which are signs that the body is trying to recognise or being primed towards the vaccine.
He, however, said if you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you are having a severe allergic reaction, then you should seek immediate medical attention.
“There are certain things that are side effects and there are certain things that are the adverse effects of the vaccine. So, if there are side effects, it’s fine; but by the time you are beginning to have adverse effects and adverse reactions, then the person will have to seek medical attention.
“Basically, you will have a fever when you take the vaccine, which shows that the body is responding to the vaccine and it should not be severe, it should be mild; but if there are adverse effects, then the person will have to seek medical attention,” he said.
According to Yahoo News, there have also been some extremely rare side effects reported. For example, three patients who received the Moderna vaccine and four who got the Pfizer experienced Bell’s Palsy, a sudden, and usually temporary, weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles, while a few patients with facial fillers experienced swelling. And, in the Pfizer trial, there were 47 cases of anaphylaxis.