Happy New Year!
I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a new year which seems to be full of hope that, at some point, we should be able to get back to more familiar routines.
I wanted to call to your attention and news item that was reported between Christmas and New Year’s regarding a reaction of soft tissue fillers following receipt of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination (Moderna is the name of one of several pharmaceutical companies that manufactures a COVID-19 vaccine). In the days following the release of this report, several patients reached out to me with questions and concerns so I would like to take this opportunity to provide some factual information followed by my perspective on how I feel this information pertains to all of us.
In the Moderna trial, out of more than 15,100 patients who received vaccine 3 subjects reported inflammation of previously injected facial filler (an incidence of 0.0001%). All 3 patients were female. One patient had received fillers approximately 6 months prior to vaccination, another about 2 weeks beforehand, and a third had a swelling of soft tissue filler in her lips as had been her history after receiving other vaccines including the flu shot. In all 3 patients, the inflammation resolved without any permanent side effects or changes. None of the more than 18,000 patients in the Pfizer trial had swelling associated with soft tissue fillers.
Inflammation of facial fillers can occur in a variety of situations and is something we are both very familiar with and very experienced treating. It is not a serious condition and should not be cause for alarm or concern. It is important to be aware of the cases which occurred as part of the Moderna trial. However, if you have received soft tissue fillers in the past or are considering doing so in the future, it is my opinion that this new information should not either be a cause for concern or a reason to hold off receiving filler injections.
Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination if you are eligible to do so. I have researched the available information on the various vaccines and am extremely comfortable with their safety profile. As a physician, I have already received the vaccine. My family will be vaccinated as soon as they are able to do so. I am also encouraging our office staff and patients to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity. The best scientific information available today suggests that the relative risk of COVID-19 infection far outweighs the risk of a vaccine.
If you have any questions about any of this information, please feel free to contact our office.
Thank you so much for your support. I hope that 2021 brings each of you the best of good health, happiness, and all things good.
Brian S. Biesman, M.D., F.A.C.S
Clinical Assistant Professor
Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Otolaryngology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center