• Lymph node swelling is a known side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine and is your body’s normal reaction to the vaccine.
  • This may worry you if you have had lymph nodes removed under your arm. Lymph node removal and lymph node radiation may lead to lymphedema after cancer treatment.
  • We urge you to get the COVID-19 vaccine when you become eligible. You should discuss any concerns you may have with your physician.

We recommend:

  • If you have lymphedema, get the COVID-19 vaccine on the opposite arm or in the leg.
  • If you are at risk of lymphedema, get the COVID-19 vaccine on the opposite arm or in the leg.
    • People who have had lymph node dissection are at high risk of lymphedema.
    • People who have had had sentinel lymph node biopsy are at lower risk of lymphedema. Even though risk of lymphedema is lower, there is still risk.
  • If you have had lymph nodes removed on both sides, you should request to receive the vaccine in your leg and if this is not possible, in the arm with the fewest lymph nodes removed.
  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can be given in the leg.

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