Can You Get Botox if You Had the COVID Vaccine?
The first COVID vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in December 2020, and several others followed. While it’s been a few years since their initial introduction, COVID vaccines remain relatively new technology — and understandably, people have plenty of questions about them.
One such question is whether there are any known harmful interactions between Botox and the COVID vaccine. Is it safe to get Botox and the COVID vaccine close together? Is there any reason to wait?
Before getting into the details, here’s a quick answer:
There are no known interactions, side effects, or risks of getting both Botox and the COVID vaccine.
That said, it’s always a good idea to do your research before getting two treatments close together. If you’ve had the COVID vaccine and you’re interested in getting Botox (or vice versa), here’s what you need to know.
What Is Botox and How Does It Work?
Botox is botulinum toxin A and a paralytic agent. It temporarily binds to nerves and prevents the release of the neurotransmitters (naturally occurring chemicals in your body) that normally communicate with your muscles. As a result, the muscles no longer receive signals from the nerves to move.
Cosmetically, this weakened muscle activity results in fewer creases and wrinkles in the overlying skin. Medically, Botox can treat certain health conditions, including temporomandibular joint syndrome, or TMJ, which causes jaw inflammation and pain.
Botox is a localized treatment, meaning it’s limited to the area of the body where it’s injected. Treatments take up to a week to take full effect, and they last about three to four months. During that time, the body metabolizes the Botox and clears it from your system, allowing your muscles to move freely again.
Over time, however, treated muscles tend to weaken as you continue with injections, so you don’t need them as often.
What Is the COVID Vaccine and How Does It Work?
The COVID vaccine helps the body develop its immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, there are four COVID vaccines available in the United States.
The first two — by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are mRNA vaccines, a relatively new technology. However, the process used to create the mRNA vaccines isn’t entirely new; researchers were already using it to develop cancer therapies. To make the COVID vaccine, researchers simply applied that same process to the SARS-CoV-2 virus instead of to cancer.
Unlike other vaccines that inject an inactivated or weakened version of a virus into your body for your immune system to recognize, the mRNA COVID vaccines work by injecting a small blueprint of the virus’s messenger RNA (mRNA) into the cells in your arm. Your cells then take up the mRNA and use it to produce a spike protein similar to the one on the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
As a result, the vaccine teaches your body to recognize the distinctive spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, so when you encounter the actual virus, your immune system can fight it off more quickly.
Are There Any Known Side Effects or Risks of Getting Botox and the COVID Vaccine?
In short, no.
It’s completely safe to get Botox if you’ve had the COVID vaccine, and it’s completely safe to get the COVID vaccine if you’ve had Botox. There are no known risks, side effects, contraindications, or interactions involved with getting Botox and the COVID vaccine; the two aren’t related at all.
The only thing they have in common is that they’re both injections. Though this may sound silly, they’re as unrelated as tying your shoes and putting on a shirt — they’re both wardrobe-related, but one has nothing to do with the other.
It’s important to speak to your doctor if you have any additional questions about Botox and its interactions with other injections or medications. If you’re in the Lubbock area, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with us. We’re happy to answer your questions and give you all the details you need to feel safe and confident about your Botox treatment!
Dr. Cuthbertson is a physician at Ear Nose & Throat Associates of Lubbock. He joined the team at ENT Lubbock from Houston, where he was chief resident of the prestigious Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery and has quickly built a reputation, not only as an extremely skilled surgeon, but as an approachable and compassionate clinician adept in the newest standards and technologies. Learn more about Dr. Cuthbertson.