Advice For Women Following Covid Vaccination
Public Health England Screening has issued the following statement/advice following media coverage in relating to breast screening and Covid-19 vaccines:
A recent BMJ article reported that 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 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 are 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.
As per usual practice, women with noted lymphadenopathy at screening must always be recalled for assessment even if they report recent vaccination. This is to ensure that no other pathology exists. It may be useful for clinicians at an assessment appointment to determine the date of a Covid-19 vaccination and the arm in which this was given, where enlarged lymph nodes are being investigated.
We will continue to monitor the evidence in this emerging area and take advice from relevant experts. Updates will be issued as necessary.