COVID-19 Vaccination and Surgery

20 Aug 2021 | Announcements, Bariatric Surgery, Evidence Based Medicine

With Covid-19 infections gradually spreading south and the Covid protection framework coming in to place people may be wondering what the requirements for vaccination are around elective surgery.  There is very good evidence from overseas that people who contract Covid-19 around the time of surgery have a 4 to 8 times greater chance of dying in the one month after surgery.  Covid-19 vaccination therefore is very important to reduce that risk.  For

Based on current guidelines from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons our recommendations for vaccination for people planning to have bariatric or other elective general surgery are:

  • Book in your first dose of the vaccine as soon as you are eligible, only delay this if the gap between vaccination and surgery would be less than two weeks.
  • If you are unable to have your first vaccine dose at least two weeks prior to your surgery then book this in for as soon as possible, but at least two weeks after your surgery date.
  • Book your second vaccine dose for the recommended interval after the first dose, but again book this at least two weeks before or two weeks after your planned surgery date.  There is ample evidence that delaying this second dose by a week or two if needed will not reduce its long term effectiveness.
  • If you are eligible, book your booster dose again for either two weeks before or two weeks after your planned surgery.

COVID-19 vaccine and elective surgery [Internet].  Covid-19 Critical Intelligence Unit; 2021 May 20.  [cited 2021 August 20].  Available from: