Take 5: Splenectomy and vaccination

1 minute read

What vaccinations should be suggested prior to splenectomy?

Splenectomy, the removal of the spleen, reduces the ability of the body to respond to vaccines, so there are complex guidelines for what vaccines to give people prior to elective surgery.

“We recommend before elective splenectomy that people have their influenza vaccination, that they have their pneumococcal vaccination and we now also recommend that they have zoster or shingles vaccination,” Associate Professor Michael Woodward, a geriatrician at the University of Melbourne, says.

“In addition, they should have the haemophilus influenzae type B vaccination and they should also have two separate meningococcal vaccines.

“If the splenectomy is emergency, some of these vaccines are still appropriate if they are given in a quick enough time.”


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