ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Doctors at the Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital say women should wait to get a screening mammogram if they have just gotten a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

They recommend waiting four weeks after getting a shot to get a mammogram so as to not have a false alarm on the scan.

"After you receive the COVID vaccine and the COVID booster, it makes your lymph nodes look larger on the imaging that we do with a mammogram," said Jessica Cooper, the breast health navigator at Sentara MJH. "So it could give us a false positive and cause them to come back for additional imaging when it's just the normal response of the vaccine."

She says those four weeks give the lymph nodes a chance to calm down from their response to the vaccine.

"That's going to give enough time for those lymph nodes to come down and not give any worrisome imaging," said Cooper.

If a woman gets a screening mammogram before that four weeks has passed, she says it may cost them more time and money.

"It just causes more anxiety and fear, knowing that something is wrong," said Cooper. "You have to come back, and get additional imaging. It could be additional cost that you need to avoid, and then just the additional imaging and radiation that you would have to get."

However, there is an exception for women who are getting a diagnostic mammogram.

"If you had an issue with your breasts, and you required a diagnostic mammogram, that's when we would want you to just come in as soon as possible and let the tech know that you did have your vaccine or booster so that they can document that and let the radiologist know," said Cooper. "But we don't want to delay any care that you may need from a diagnostic mammogram."

Starting at age 40, it is recommended that women get a mammogram annually.

To learn more about screening guidelines, scheduling a mammogram, or for more about breast cancer risk factors, click here.