Post Vaccination Axillary Lymphadenopathy and Mammography

A recent BMJ article, reported advice in the US is that breast screening appointments should be scheduled to take place before women receive a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or 4 to 6 weeks after the second dose where possible. This is due to the potential reaction of enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) on the side of the vaccination, which could cause unnecessary concern. This has also been picked up by the UK press. For the vaccines approved for use in the UK, the frequency from the trials is estimated to be less than 1%. Within England, breast screening service personnel have been advised to be aware of the potential for enlarged nodes following a COVID-19 vaccination.

However, the advice regarding the scheduling of mammograms has not altered. There is currently no requirement for women to be advised to wait for a period of time following a COVID-19 vaccination before attending a screening appointment.