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The University of Washington Medical Center says patients who refuse to get a COVID vaccine before an organ transplant will be dropped from the wait list.
Patients must be fully vaccinated before their procedures unless they have a specific medical exception that prevents them from getting the vaccine, UW Medicine says.
FILE: A medical staff member prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif.
Hospital officials say patients’ immune systems are suppressed and in a prolonged weakened state after a transplant, making them more vulnerable to infections from viruses like COVID-19.
This policy requiring patients to have the COVID vaccine before an organ transplant is only a few weeks old, but UW Medicine has long required patients awaiting such operations to be current on all critical vaccinations before a procedure.
Patients cannot wait until after their transplant to be vaccinated for COVID. UW Medicine says patients typically don’t respond as well to the COVID vaccine because of their weakened immune systems.
UW Medicine’s policy follows that of other health providers who are denying organ transplants to unvaccinated patients.
In late September, Colorado health system UCHealth informed a woman with kidney failure she was being denied a kidney transplant because she and her donor were not vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.
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