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What Skin Reactions Are Seen After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines?

Most common reactions include delayed large local reactions, local injection site reactions, urticaria, and morbilliform eruptions

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | July 07, 2021

A spectrum of cutaneous reactions have been recorded following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, according to a report published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Devon E. McMahon, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed the morphology and timing of cutaneous reactions after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Data were gathered from a provider-facing registry.

The researchers found that from December 2020 to February 2021, there were 414 cutaneous reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna (83 percent) and Pfizer (17 percent). The most common reactions included delayed large local reactions, local injection site reactions, urticarial eruptions, and morbilliform eruptions. Among patients with first-dose reactions, 43 percent experienced second-dose recurrence. Less common reactions included pernio/chilblains, cosmetic filler reactions, zoster, herpes simplex flares, and pityriasis rosea-like reactions. Serious adverse events did not develop in any of the patients in the registry after the first or second dose.

"Overall, our data support that cutaneous reactions to COVID-19 vaccination are generally minor and self-limited and should not discourage vaccination," the authors write.

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