Sunday, December 3, 2023

Can Shingles Vaccine Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

The Pandemic Cost On College Enrollment

Health check: Swollen lymph nodes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine

The data for the just-finished spring semester is coming in and the National Student Clearinghouse has the grim details. Graduate schools held steady and community colleges were hit the hardest. You can go here to see state-by-state data. The overall trends are:

  • Overall spring enrollment fell to 16.9 million from 17.5 million, marking a one-year decline of 3.5 percent or 603,000 students, seven times worse than the decline a year earlier.
  • Undergraduate students accounted for all of the decline, with a 4.9 percent drop or 727,000 students. In contrast, graduate enrollment jumped by 4.6 percent, adding more than 124,000 students.
  • While every institution sector saw undergraduate enrollment dip this spring, community colleges remain hardest hit . Over 65 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment losses occurred in the community college sector.
  • Among all age groups, traditional college-age students declined the most , largely attributable to their steep losses at community colleges . Adult students , on the other hand, show a 2 to 3 percent gain at public four-year and private nonprofit four-year colleges.
  • Enrollment among male students continued to fall more steeply than female students .

The question now is still whether we will see these trends continue into the fall.

Proper Use Of Shingrix

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It is given as a shot into one of your muscles, usually in the deltoid .

This medicine is given as two doses. The second dose is given 2 to 6 months after the first dose. To get the best possible protection against herpes zoster infection, you should complete your vaccine dosing schedule.

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Shingles

Anyone who had the chickenpox can get shingles. People ages 50 and older and those with a vulnerable immune system or underlying health conditions are more susceptible, even if they are younger than 50.

Older adults and those who are immuno-compromised get shingles most often. The severity of shingles and its complications increase with age.

Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get A Shingles Shot In My Area

How Do Vaccines Including The Covid

Mullen says, Lymph nodes under the arm where a person has gotten a vaccine can become enlarged as part of the normal immune response to the vaccine.

Not all vaccines cause swollen lymph nodes, but ones that cause a more intense immune response, such as the COVID-19 vaccine, some shingles vaccines, and others, are more likely to affect them. The COVID-19 vaccine is a new type of vaccine, and people are reacting strongly to it, Mullen says. That heightened immune response is normal and expected.

She adds that even the yearly flu shot can affect the lymph nodes. Every year, flu vaccine season corresponds with breast cancer awareness month, so some patients are getting mammograms when they have enlarged nodes due to the flu shot.

That being said, the Society of Breast Imaging and the Johns Hopkins breast imaging division do not recommend a delay between receiving the vaccine and scheduling your screening mammogram.

Swollen Lymph Nodes After Covid Vaccine Might Show Up On Mammography But Dont Worry

Can Cancer Patients Get The Shingles Vaccine

Women who are looking to schedule their annual mammogram might want to make that appointment before getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For some women, routine mammograms are showing swollen lymph nodes in the upper arm and armpit area on the side where theyve received their vaccine. But thats not a reason to be alarmed, says Director of Breast Imaging in the Diagnostic Radiology Department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Swollen lymph nodes are an indication that your body is doing what its supposed to, responding to the vaccine and making antibodies, Dr. Quinn says. It also isnt a response unique to the COVID-19 vaccine, as it has been seen on occasion in people who have received other vaccines, including the annual flu shot and the shingles vaccine. Lymph nodes can remain swollen for up to 12 weeks, but for most women, any swelling would be reduced between four and six weeks after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, she says.

Were currently recommending that women schedule their mammogram for four to six weeks after their second dose, Dr. Quinn says. If youve had your first dose of the vaccine and youre due for a mammogram, schedule it for four weeks after the second dose. But if youre having a breast-related issue, such as a mass, do not wait to schedule your screening.

Time For Your Mammogram?

Feeling swollen lymph nodes after a vaccine is a normal response, she says.

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Are There Side Effects To Shingrix

Research shows that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body build a defense against the varicella zoster virus that causes shingles. You may experience some mild side effects from getting the shots, such as a sore arm with mild pain after getting Shingrix. Some people experience redness and swelling around the area where they got the shot. You may experience a headache, fatigue, stomach pain, or nausea, but these typically pass after 2-3 days and are not experienced by everyone who gets the vaccine.

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The medical experts on TikTok and Facebook have been so helpful in scaring women who may have noticed small lumps in their armpits after being vaccinated. Some women, worrying it may be breast cancer, rush to get mammograms.

Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the University of California San Franciscos Breast Care Center, says her office is getting an influx of calls from vaccinated women who are confusing swollen lymph nodes for signs of cancer.

ABC7 in San Francisco reports:

Most people get their vaccine in the shoulder area and it turns out we have 20-40 lymph nodes in that region. But why is the vaccine triggering them?

The lymph nodes when they get swollen, if you have an infection, are just doing their job. In the case of a vaccine they are manufacturing the antibody for your body which is what you want, said Dr. Esserman.

The Society of Breast Imaging reports that 11.6% of patients who received Modernas COVID-19 vaccine had swollen lymph nodes after the first dose, and 16% after the second dose. Women who got the Pfizer vaccine also experienced these side effects.

Vaccines, and not just COVID-19 vaccines, often cause lymph node swelling.

Lets be clear, Johns Hopkins says:

Also Check: Are Shingles Itchy At First

Alert Providers To Your Recent Vaccination

If you do get your COVID-19 shot before you get a cancer screening, make your providers aware of your vaccine status so they can manage your care appropriately.

When you have your cancer screening exam, tell the radiologist or technician when you had the first vaccine shot and in which arm. These factors should be in the report that your doctor receives.

If your test shows swollen lymph nodes, your doctor may decide to order another imaging test a few weeks later and/or watch you closely before ordering a more invasive test. For instance, if a woman had her vaccine in her left arm and enlarged lymph nodes are identified in the left axilla on her mammogram or ultrasound, a clinical exam by the patients healthcare provider in 4 to 6 weeks, if needed, is the recommended follow-up.

But if swelling persists, your doctor may say, I want you to go get an ultrasound and get it checked out, Dr. Desperito says.

What Is The Treatment For Shingles

FDA warns of vaccine booster side effect, swollen lymph nodes

Once you are diagnosed with shingles, your doctor will start antiviral medications such as acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir, to reduce the pain and the duration of a shingles outbreak.

Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and pain. If your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe pain medications to help alleviate some of your discomfort.

You may be given topical antibiotics to apply to the skin to prevent your blisters from becoming infected.

Starting an antiviral medication as soon as you notice your first symptoms is the best way to shorten the duration of the virus and the severity of the rash. The antiviral medication typically works best when taken in the first three days of experiencing symptoms.

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What Causes A Rash And Swollen Lymph Nodes

A rash and swollen lymph nodes are signs of an infection or immune response. If you have a minor infection, your symptoms will likely resolve on their own with time and rest. If your rash and swollen lymph nodes are caused by a serious infection, you may need medical treatment.

Enlargement of the lymph nodes, or lymphadenopathy, can also be due to cancers such as head and neck malignancies and lymphoma. However, a rash may not be concurrently present.

Certain medications can cause a syndrome called serum sickness that manifests as fever, joint pain, rash, and lymphadenopathy. Those medications include penicillin, allopurinol , and hydralazine.

Some potential infectious and autoimmune causes of rash and swollen lymph nodes include:

Seek medical attention immediately if your rash and swollen lymph nodes are accompanied by breathing difficulties, tightness in your throat, or swelling in your face.

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • you experience fever or joint pain along with your rash and swollen lymph nodes
  • your lymph nodes feel hard and rock-like
  • you experience swelling on or near your rash
  • your symptoms dont improve in two days

This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if youre concerned that you may be experiencing a medical emergency.

Long Term Side Effects

In rare cases, the live shingles vaccine, Zostavax, can cause a skin rash or shingles.

The rash that occurs with shingles can affect any area of the body, but it often appears as a line of blisters that wraps around the torso.

Within a few days the blisters cluster, and they continue to form for several more days. The blisters can take 2â3 weeks to heal, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Other common symptoms of shingles include:

two shingles vaccines for adults: the recombinant zoster vaccine and the zoster virus vaccine .

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If Youve Had Breast Cancer

Swollen lymph nodes can be especially alarming, but no less likely to be serious, if youve had breast cancer. As a breast surgeon, Dr. Heck says Id still want to examine any breast cancer patient who develops a swollen lymph node, just to be sure its not a sign that the cancer has returned. If youre a breast cancer survivor who has not yet been vaccinated, Dr. Heck suggests you get the vaccine in the arm on the opposite side of your body from the cancerous breast. That way, if your lymph nodes become swollen, it will help your doctor to better determine the possible cause.

If youve had cancer in both breasts, Dr. Heck recommends you get the vaccine in your thigh instead of your arm.

What Causes Internal Shingles

Headache And Rash On Torso

The varicella zoster virus causes shingles. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a bout of chickenpox, the virus becomes dormant in the body and settles in certain nerves and tissue of the nervous system. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and present itself as shingles. Shingles typically appears on the skin along the nerve path where it had been previously dormant. If the reactivation of the virus becomes severe, it can affect not only the skin but other organs too. This is what is called systemic or internal shingles.

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How Can I Ease My Symptoms At Home

Its important to follow your doctors recommended treatment plan. In many cases, rest is the best healer for viral infections that cause rash and swollen lymph nodes. You can also take steps at home to achieve greater comfort.

Keep the rash-covered portions of your skin clean and dry to help reduce irritation. Wash your skin with mild, unscented soap and warm water. Gently pat it dry. Avoid rubbing or scratching your rash, which can irritate it more.

Rest and avoid overexertion to give your body the chance to heal. Drink cool, clear fluids to maintain hydration. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen , can also help relieve pain associated with your illness.

What Are Common Side Effects Of Zostavax

About 1 in 3 people suffer injection suffer redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection. About 1 in 70 people experience a headache.

Some people who get the shingles vaccine develop a chickenpox-like rash near the place where they were vaccinated. This rash is potentially contagious and it should be covered to avoid transmission of the varicella zoster virus to young children, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.

The most common side effects of the shingles vaccine include:

  • Injection-site reactions

Tags: Chickenpoxshingleszostavax

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How To Do You Know If Swollen Lymph Nodes Are Due To A Serious Condition

The body has more than 600 lymph nodes in clusters in the neck, armpits, groin and torso, between the lungs, and in the belly, and around the bowels. Theyre part of the bodys lymphatic system, which also includes the spleen, tonsils and adenoids. The lymph nodes scattered throughout the body act to filter out harmful, foreign cells like viruses and bacteria as well as cancer cells.

Lymph nodes are connected by vein-like vessels that carry lymph, a clear, watery liquid made up of cells called lymphocytes that help the lymphatic system protect the body from germs and impurities. The fluid flows through the vessels and the lymph nodes, where its filtered and then released back into the bloodstream.

When you have a bacterial or viral infection like a cold, the flu, an ear infection or an abscessed tooth, your lymphatic system kicks into action, producing lymphocytes to fight the infection and causing the lymph nodes to swell. If youre aware you have an infection like strep throat or an infected cut, for instance, you may recognize that the swollen lymph nodes are related to the infection. The lymph nodes may swell in an area that corresponds to the infection. For instance, an abscessed tooth may cause the lymph nodes in the neck to swell as the lymphatic fluid from the infection site drains through the nodes in that area, just as an infected cut on your leg may make the lymph nodes in your groin swell.

Considerations For Patients Who Previously Received Zostavax

Swollen Lymph Nodes Mistaken For Cancer After Vaccine

Studies have not examined the safety and immunogenicity of Shingrix administered less than 5 years following Zostavax vaccination. However, there are no data or theoretical concerns to indicate that Shingrix would be less safe or less effective when given at an interval shorter than 5 years following Zostavax. Since the risk of herpes zoster increases with age, providers should weigh a patients risk of herpes zoster with the age-specific protection expected from Zostavax to determine when to vaccinate with Shingrix.

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Breast Cancer Screening Or Covid

As the greatest vaccination drive in history pushes ahead, an interesting wrinkle has emerged. The lymph-node swelling thats part of the immune systems healthy reaction to COVID-19 vaccines often shows up on routine breast-cancer screening scans. Thats complicating the work of breast-cancer specialists who factor in lymph nodes when determining whether breast cancer or other health problems may be at hand.

To learn more and for an expert recommendation on how women should proceed UCHealth Today touched base with Dr. Dulcy Wolverton, a CU School of Medicine radiologist and the section chief for Breast Imaging at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus. If youre in a hurry, heres the gist: get vaccinated as soon as you can. Heres how to get vaccinated at UCHealth. Try to schedule your breast-cancer screening before your vaccination. If thats not possible and youre not at elevated risk for breast cancer, delay your breast-cancer screening until about three months after your final COVID-19 dose. If youre at higher risk or have noticed a lump, come in for a screening.

Why Do Swollen Lymph Nodes Matter In Breast

Dr. Dulcy Wolverton: It can matter because swollen lymph nodes can mean a few things. We worry most about lymph nodes if theyre only on one side and theyre pretty enlarged because sometimes they can be a sign of breast cancer otherwise too small to be seen because of really dense breast tissue on that side.

Mammograms can also help spot other problems with a patients health. Sometimes we see lymph nodes that are swollen on both sides, and that can be a sign of lymphoma, and also metastases from other cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. Lymph node enlargement can also be caused by various infections and also systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and sarcoidosis.

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Schedule Scans Carefully During And After Cancer Treatment

If you are currently being treated for cancer or have recovered from it, you may be getting advanced imaging, such as CT scans and PET scans, periodically to see if it has spread to other organs or how you are responding to treatment, or to check for recurrences. Ask your oncologist if it is possible to coordinate them with your vaccine appointment, Dr. Desperito says.

If youre offered the vaccine and you have tests coming up soon, you can request to have the shot administered in a different body part. For example, if your breast cancer is or was in the left breast, ask to get the vaccine in your right arm or even your thigh muscle, Dr. Desperito advises.

Talk to your doctor if swollen nodes appear on an imaging test after you got the vaccine. If you had a CT scan and it shows enlarged lymph nodes, a targeted ultrasound can be done of the axilla to see if theyve gone back to normal, Dr. Desperito says. You may not have to get a repeat CT scan. There are other ways to check on it.

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