UW Medicine requiring transplant recipients to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Health Care Professionals Treat Coronavirus Patients On The Acute Care Floor Of Harborview Medical Center
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 07: Nurse Karen Hayes administers care to a patient in the acute care COVID-19 unit at Harborview Medical Center on May 7, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Today there are 25 patients at Harborview Medical Center, 10 of whom are on this floor. Currently in the UW Medicine System, 66 patients testing positive for COVID-19 are receiving care, around half of what it was at its peak. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, Wash. — UW medicine patients will be denied an organ transplant if they refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The hospital’s website says all patients in need of a transplant must get vaccinated before their surgery. 

“All major organ transplant societies strongly recommend patients get vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to transplant when patients’ immune systems are more likely to respond to the vaccine,” the website says. 

The hospital says vaccine requirements are nothing new. Transplant recipients have previously been required to be current on all critical vaccines prior to a procedure. 

UW Medicine will accept medical exemptions but says those who refuse the vaccine for non-medical reasons will be removed from the waitlist and deemed ineligible. 

RELATED: Exemptions, but no accommodations: Unvaccinated firefighters call mandate a ‘personal attack’ 

READ: Spokane Public Schools says only 3 employees plan on leaving over vaccine mandate