News Page

12 Apr

COVID-19 Update


Vaccine update

All Australians over 16 years of age will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are not ‘live’ which means they do not carry any active part of the virus. We believe it will be an important vaccine for the vast majority of our patients to have. Below we have provided links to resources from the Australian Government, Department of Health, and Medicine/Vaccine advisory boards. We will endeavor to update our website regularly to reflect the most up to date information. Your GP will be helpful in providing information and advice regarding when you can have the vaccine.

Eligibility for the vaccine:

Vaccine eligibility checker

Vaccine clinic locations

Information resources:

Australian Government Department of Health

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) have created a video explaining how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly and safely.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations (ATAGI) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in people with a history of clots, in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines.


Am I at greater risk of getting the coronavirus infection?
As a person who does not have a spleen or has one that doesn’t work (a person without a functioning spleen) there is currently no evidence that you have an increased risk of respiratory viral infections. It is likely that your risk of getting this infection is the same as for the general population. Bacterial infections cause you the most trouble. However, people without a functioning spleen who have a COVID-19 infection may experience complications; especially those aged over 60 years, and have other chronic health conditions eg lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of

What precautions should I take for my personal protection?
There are personal hygiene measures you can take up to reduce the risk of getting infections, including COVID-19. Good handwashing technique using soap and water is essential. Avoid touching your face and practice sneezing and coughing into your elbow. The use of masks in the community is not recommended in general as the hygiene measures described above are known to be the most effective ways to reducing the spread of infection.

Should I have the flu and pneumococcal vaccinations?
Spleen Australia recommends:
(i) Annual influenza vaccination for everyone when it becomes available (April 2020).
(ii) Pneumococcal vaccination – there are two types of pneumococcal vaccines that are recommended for you. Please check with your GP to see if you are up to date with these vaccines and also check the if you have received the recommended meningococcal and Hib vaccines.

Should I have a contingency plan if I got sick either with COVID-19 or a
bacterial infection?

In the case of widespread disruptions to medical supplies or illness, it might be necessary to have an increased supply of your daily antibiotics (if prescribed) in advance. You must also check the expiry date on your supply of emergency antibiotics. You can self-administer this supply should you become very unwell and unable to get your GP or local emergency department in a prompt manner. Always show your spleen alert card when you see a doctor.

Who should I contact if I have symptoms?
Contact your GP if you have any symptoms or you are concerned. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.

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25 Jun

Health Update #1


Click here to view the latest health update.

Great News: Free Vaccines
From the 1st of July 2020, vaccines recommended for people without a functioning spleen will be funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

The free vaccines include
 Bexsero (Meningococcal B)
 Nimenrix (Meningococcal ACWY)
 Prevenar 13 (13-valent pneumococcal conjugate)
 Pneumovax 23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide)
 Act-HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type b)

What is the National Immunisation Program (NIP)?
The NIP provides free vaccines to eligible people to help reduce diseases that can be prevented by vaccination.

How do I know which vaccines I need?
You and your GP can find the latest vaccine recommendations on this website, or in The Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Where can I get immunised?
Make an appointment with your general practitioner (GP) to receive the vaccinations. In some cases you may also receive the vaccinations in a hospital.

Are there any cost to get the vaccines?
The vaccines are free but your GP may charge you for the appointment or administration.

Please click the link above to read the full update.

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28 Apr

Daryl Braithwaite launches upgraded Spleen Australia website


Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite is using a deeply personal experience to highlight the work of Spleen Australia.

As the Melbourne-based, but internationally known front man for iconic Australian band Sherbet in the 70s, Daryl has been without his spleen since 2016.

He knows only too well the health challenges faced by people without a spleen.

Away from rapturous acclaim whenever he performs the hit The Horses – which is also one of the most played songs at weddings around the world – Daryl has signed up as the patron of Spleen Australia.

And Daryl is using his knowledge of the impact of losing a spleen to help promote Spleen Australia’s newly revamped website.

Daryl’s spleen had to be removed in 2016 as a result of a gastric problem.

“Sometimes I think some of us in the music industry live in a bubble,” Daryl said when recalling the time when he fell ill having not faced any health issues in the past.

Daryl said it was scary going to the doctor and he was dreading the worse diagnosis. Fortunately, he didn’t have cancer, but the diagnosis was still serious, requiring surgery.

He felt the care he got in hospital was fantastic, especially from the doctors and nurses.

Health is very important to Daryl who wants to be around for his son Oscar.

Spleen Australia, based at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, helps people of all ages who do not have a functioning spleen by assisting them reduce their chances of getting a bacterial infection or other potentially serious complications.

Anyone who registers with Spleen Australia is provided with information about how to avoid infections and have access to a health information line.

Since the operation back in 2016 the now 71-year-old Braithwaite has been enjoying good health and continues to do all he can for bushfire victims.

And of course Daryl also wants to support people who do not have a functioning spleen by using his own story and experience to guide them towards maintaining ongoing good health.

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28 Apr

Updating your contact details


In order to keep you up to date with the latest Spleen Australia activities and medical recommendations it is vital we have your up to date contact details, including mobile or home phone number, personal e-mail address and postal address.

To update your contact details, please send us an e-mail at or call us 03 9076 3828 (Victoria and Tasmania), 1800 775 336 (QLD)

You are unable to access your Spleen Australia registration page once it has been completed. If there is anything you would like to change or let us know please get in contact with us.

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