Getting Tattooed After the COVID-19 Vaccination: When, Where, and What to Expect

If you have chosen to get the COVID-19 vaccine or are contemplating doing so in the near future, you might be wondering how that will impact your ability to get tattooed. We thought we would discuss this topic so that you can start planning your next tattoo project and feel safe while doing so.

  • Similarities: Tattoos and vaccines are similar in the sense that your body is taking in a foreign material during both events, and when this happens (regardless of the foreign body), your body is going to react in a way that it attempts to protect it. When you get tattooed, your body senses something new penetrating your skin and it is common for you to feel pain, soreness, swelling, and oftentimes redness, while afterwards your body immediately starts the healing process by weeping and oozing as it begins the restorative process. When you receive a vaccine, this type of reaction also kicks in as your body begins to process the new substance and can again react with pain, soreness, swelling and redness. And just like with a tattoo, your body kicks into high gear to stimulate your immune system.
  • Give them Space: Because your body works so hard to protect itself and you might experience some side effects from the vaccine, such as tiredness, headaches, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea, give yourself some time to recover from the injection before you hop in the tattoo chair. This doesn’t need to be a substantial length of time, but you want to be sure that your body feels recovered and rested before you subject it to any discomfort that comes from getting tattooed. It’s also best to separate the two so that you are certain where certain side effects are coming from (was it the tattoo or the vaccine) and you can distinguish between the events should you need any additional care.
  • Where to Avoid Getting Tattooed: Be sure to avoid getting the vaccine injection near any new or recent tattoo that might still be healing. If you have any tattoos near the injection site, be sure to tell the medical professional performing the procedure so another location can be chosen. This is important because of the risk of tissue entrapment or dissemination in the blood stream. Once a tattoo is healed, there is no reason that a vaccine cannot be administered through an area of the skin that is tattooed. One researcher showed a photo of his own tattoo and how he gets injected each year with the influenza vaccination in an area without visible pigment, but within his tattoo.
  • Final Thoughts : Dr. Michael Chang who is a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, explains that “Based on how the various vaccines work, there isn’t any reason to think getting a tattoo would influence how well the vaccines work.” So, just be wise on when you plan your appointments and be sure to allow your body the time it needs to heal and recover from your tattoo or your vaccination, should you choose to receive one. Once you do schedule your next appointment, be sure to stock up on MD WipeOutz Tattoo Towels to help your healing process and aftercare routine stay as simple, clean, sterile, and efficient as possible.


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