Mammograms and the COVID-19 Vaccine

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By News Team on December 14, 2021

When scheduling your first or annual mammogram, you might want to check the date of your most recent COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

Experts are recommending a 6-week window between the two because the vaccine can cause the lymph nodes in the armpit to swell as your body mounts an immune response to the coronavirus.

“This is a normal reaction to the vaccine," said Ashley Tuttle, M.D., in a recent interview with WDBJ-7. "It’s a sign that your body is forming those antibodies to the vaccine just as we want it to.”

Those swollen lymph nodes, while temporary and a typical reaction to many vaccines, can be enough for Carilion's Breast Care Center team to call a patient in for further testing.

Dr Tuttle offers two options:

  • If you're getting the vaccine or booster, wait 6 weeks to have your mammogram.
  • If your mammogram is scheduled, wait until you have the results before getting the vaccine or booster.

“I would not recommend delaying your mammogram," she said. "Both the vaccine and the mammogram are important things to do for your health.”

Find out more about mammograms at Carilion Clinic in this article.

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