COVID Vaccination and Elective Cosmetic Surgery – Timing is Everything

covid vaccine
By Naveen Somia, Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Sydney

Australia began its COVID vaccination program on 21stFeb 2021. As the vaccination drive ramps up nationwide, you can be assured that for the rest of 2021 Australia will be busy with COVID vaccinations. It is important to consider the implications of COVID vaccinations on elective cosmetic surgery as it impacts two groups of patients.

  1. Patients who have their cosmetic surgery procedure scheduled in 2021 and
  2. Patients who are planning to schedule their cosmetic surgery

Since it is important to schedule the timing of vaccination and surgery, it is important that you discuss this with your Plastic Surgeon.

The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the peak body for Specialist Plastic Surgeons who practice Cosmetic Surgery in Australia and New Zealand, issued a statement on 24thFebruary advising ASAPS members who are all registered specialist plastic surgeons. The advice issued by ASAPS to its members was based on best practice guidelines issued by the Royal College of Surgeons of the UK and the Mayo Clinic, USA and widely adopted by the NHS of the UK.


  • An Elective Cosmetic Surgery procedure is not a contraindication to routine COVID vaccination
  • It is recommended that the date of Surgery is separated from the date of vaccination by at least one week
  • This separation is helpful to attribute symptoms such as fever or systemic symptoms to either the surgical procedure or vaccination
  • If an individual is acutely unwell following elective Plastic Surgery, the COVID vaccination should be delayed till the patient recovers fully
  • If an individual is acutely unwell following the COVID vaccination, elective Plastic Surgery should be delayed till the patient recovers fully


  • Both the Pfizer and the Astra Zeneca vaccines have been approved for use in Australia
  • Both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines require 2 doses
  • The time interval between doses for the Pfizer Vaccine is a minimum of 21 days
  • The time interval between doses for the Astra Zeneca vaccine is a minimum of 4 – 12 weeks


  • Less than 1% of people experience fever after the first dose of the COVID vaccine. 15% of people will experience fever after the second dose of the COVID vaccine
  • Post COVID vaccination symptoms include fevers, chills and malaise
  • Most symptoms resolve within 3-7 days of the COVID vaccination


About the Author

Dr Naveen Somia PhD., FRACS, is a Sydney Plastic Surgeon who is the Immediate Past President of ASAPS. Registered as a Specialist in the recognised speciality of Plastic Surgery by AHPRA since 2007, Dr Somia’s area of expertise is surgery of the eyelids, face and breast.


The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) is the peak body for plastic surgeons in Australia and New Zealand who specialise in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine. ASAPS’s members are registered specialist plastic surgeons, who after  having undergone the highest levels of accredited training  maintain a life-long commitment to Excellence in Cosmetic Surgery. As a patient of an ASAPS member, you should feel reassured that you are in expert hands with access to world-class expertise in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine in Australia and New Zealand.



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