Less common vaccine side effect has some concerned women seeking mammograms

Less common vaccine side effect has some concerned women seeking mammograms

KETTERING — Some of the common side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccine are not concerning and go away within a couple days, but a small number of people are experiencing a uncommon one that is leaving them concerned.

About 16 percent of people are experiencing swollen lymph nodes in their armpits following their second dose of the vaccine.

Some women who notice this are getting mammograms out of caution because inflamed lymph nodes in the armpit are a sign of breast cancer.

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Dr. Thomas Huth, Vice President of Medical Affair at Reid Health, said that this uncommon side effect lasts two to three weeks, opposed to more common side effects that go away within 24 to 72 hours.

While it is alarming at first, Dr. Jeffery Weinstein, Kettering Health Network Patient Safety Officer, said your immune system is doing what it should be.

“What happens with the vaccine is the mRNA, that’s injected into the muscle, gets into your immune system, which includes the lymph nodes,” Dr. Weinstein said. “So the process of your body developing immunity doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs over weeks, so that’s why the lymph nodes can be swollen or enlarged or inflamed for more than just a few days.”