Tonya asked in HealthAlternative Medicine · 7 years ago

What kind of annual shots are you suppose to get after a splenectomy?

I got in a car wreck september 23 2012 they had to completely remove my spleen. I have no regular md at the time do to unable to afford insurance. The doctor told me last year i need to get annual shots or it would be difficult to stay healthy. What kind of shots are they ? I am a certified nurses

aide i just started working again a few days ago at a long term care facility. I already have a high risk of getting sick without a spleen on top of the fact i work with a bunch of sick people. Can anyone please help me out?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi Tonya,

    My name is Alyssa and I am a 6th year pharmacy student, so I can help you with your questions! First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your accident and I am glad that you are OK! Unfortunately, it may be tricky to obtain all of the vaccines needed if you do not have a primary care physician or insurance. Fortunately, the ObamaCare affordable insurance exchanges are open on October 1, 2013, just 18 days away! I recommend doing some research into the newly formulated plans that will be available for all citizens. The new ObamaCare is designed so that, hopefully, all U.S. citizens will be able to obtain health insurance to reach the proper care that they need. Your local pharmacy should be able to answer some more direct questions you have regarding which plan best suits you and how to enter into the exchange. You can try calling the pharmacy and setting up an appointment to meet with someone to discuss your specific needs. I will also provide a link to a website in my sources that has an overview of the upcoming changes.

    Moving on to your vaccination requirements, I have done a bit of research and have pulled various sources to compile my answer. It seems as though you had an emergent splenectomy (emergency) rather than an elective splenectomy, this changes the vaccine schedule a bit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three recommended vaccines for all patients without a spleen, and there are five vaccines that should be evaluated case-by-case.

    The three vaccines that are recommended to all patients are:

    1. Yearly influenza vaccine to protect against seasonal flu

    2. Pneumococcal vaccines (both types) to protect against pneumonia and other pneumococcal disease

    3. Meningococcal vaccine to protect against meningitis and other meningococcal disease.

    The five vaccines that are recommended on a case-by-case evaluation are:

    1. Tdap vaccine to protect against whooping cough and tetanus

    2. Zoster vaccine to protect against shingles if you are 60 years and older

    3. HPV vaccine series to protect against human papillomavirus if you are a woman up to age 26

    4. MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella if you were born in 1957 or after and have not gotten this vaccine or have immunity to these diseases

    5. Varicella vaccine to protect against chickenpox if you were born in 1980 or after and have not gotten two doses of this vaccine or have immunity to this disease

    Post-splenectomy vaccinations are essential for patients without a spleen because you are at a heightened risk for infection by "encapsulated" bacteria. The aforementioned vaccinations help protect from infection by this type of bacteria. Without protection from this bacteria, there is a 1%-2% chance of developing sepsis which could be life-threatening in severe cases.

    I hope this answers your question of which vaccinations you need and I hope you are able to obtain all the care you deserve! Feel free to ask any other questions if you have them and I will do my best to answer.


    Obamacare homepage. Obamacare 2013. Available at: Accessed: September 13, 2013.

    Davies JM, Barnes R, Milligan D. Update of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of infection in patients with an absent or dysfunctional spleen. Clin Med 2002;2:440-444.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunizations for adults by age. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2008. Available at: Accessed: September 13, 2013.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asplenia and adult vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2008. Available at: Accessed: September 13, 2013.

    UpToDate homepage. Prevention of sepsis in the asplenic patient. Available at: Accessed: September 13, 2013.

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