Can you get COVID vaccine if you don’t have a spleen? Will I need a booster vaccine?

Answering viewer questions on COVID

Answering COVID vaccine questions: Can you get COVID vaccine if you don’t have a spleen? Will I need a booster vaccine?
Answering COVID vaccine questions: Can you get COVID vaccine if you don’t have a spleen? Will I need a booster vaccine?

DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

READ: More answers to questions about coronavirus


How will we know when a booster vaccine will be needed?

Studies are still being done in the first groups who were vaccinated. If the data ultimately shows that people do need a booster, you can expect an official recommendation from the FDA.

I had a liver transplant 27 years ago and take immunosuppressants. I have had both of my COVID vaccine shots. On April 19, my doctor had me tested for COVID antibodies. The COVID vaccine did not work for me. I know why, but I’m wondering how many other people have been vaccinated and do not know if they have antibodies.

There is a growing body of data that shows being immunosuppressed can decrease your response to the vaccines. Health officials still recommend immunosuppressed people get vaccinated -- but because your response may be incomplete -- until more information is available -- officials recommend you maintain the same precautions you would if you were not vaccinated.

Should you get the COVID vaccination if you don’t have a spleen?

Yes. You should still get vaccinated if you don’t have a spleen. However, the spleen plays an important role in your immune system so it’s possible the vaccine may not work as well for you. Still, any protection is better than no protection.

My mother-in-law insists she cannot get vaccinated because she’s allergic to sulfa. Her friends have told her the vaccine is full of sulfa. Is this true? We told her she must get vaccinated if she wants to be near our son who has multiple health issues.

There is no sulfa in the COVID vaccines and having a sulfa allergy does not prevent someone from getting vaccinated.

I had a mild case of COVID in November. I got a test telling me about my antibodies. The doctor said it was good. So it’s just as good as getting the vaccine, right?

While having antibodies from a COVID infection does offer natural protection for some time, we don’t know how long the protection lasts. It is still recommended that you get vaccinated because the vaccine will help boost your protection and likely extend the amount of time it lasts.


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