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Breast screening and your COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine bottles and syringe.

In a small number of patients, COVID-19 vaccinations can cause enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit, according to reports from the United States. These might cause concern but they are not related to breast cancer. 

The swelling appears on the side as the arm that received the jab. While those enlarged lymph nodes may be worrisome, it is a normal reaction by the immune system to the vaccine.

At BreastScreen Victoria, we are keeping an eye on this side effect but there is no change to your breast screen appointment. 

You can feel confident about attending your breast screen as normal. Two or more specially trained health professionals  independently examine your mammogram.

The condition was a recognised side effect of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines for use in Australia. Most Australians will get the AstraZeneca vaccine, but priority groups will get Pfizer.

If you are concerned about any breast symptoms, or notice any changes that are unusual for you, please contact your GP as soon as possible.

If you are overdue for your screening, it's best not to delay it. It's crucial to keep your health appointments. We are screening with safety measures in place and look forward to welcoming you to your regular breast screen.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated in Victoria, visit the Victorian Government’s vaccine hub.

To book your next breast screen, book online or by calling 13 20 50.