COVID-19 Vaccine: What Women Need to Know
Mar 29, 2021 Victoria Pelham
More than 47 million people—nearly 58% female—have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to March figures from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But health experts worry lingering fear and misinformation might keep some women from taking their shot.
Cedars-Sinai women's health providers break down the rumors and clear up what women should know if they're getting vaccinated—or are undecided.
COVID-19 vaccines can cause enlarged lymph nodes
Don't worry about swelling
It's unclear why these vaccine reactions seem to be occurring more with the COVID-19 vaccine, but the reasons—and their true prevalence–will likely become better understood as more people receive them.
Providers say enlarged lymph nodes are not troubling and do not pose any health risks. All eligible women are encouraged to get vaccinated when the option is available to them.
The concern is that localized swelling could be mistaken for cancer on a mammogram or other screening, such as chest CT or PET scans. Swollen lymph nodes can sometimes signal metastasized breast cancer or lymphoma, so they require further study.
"If you're called in because of lymph nodes seen on your mammogram and you just got the vaccine, this is most likely due to the vaccination and temporary," Dr. Litwer says. "Don't panic."
Vaccine side effects aren't a reason to forego your mammogram
"If you're called in because of lymph nodes and just got the vaccine, that most likely is the cause. Don't panic."
Vaccination has no effect on fertility
Researchers are monitoring reactions
"At this point you're either going to get COVID, or you'll get the vaccine."