The health system of Queensland, Australia, could deny patients potentially life-saving treatment if they have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Queensland Health, the official health agency of Queensland, said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that the agency is requiring patients receiving organ transplants to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The agency cited the vaccine’s benefits to the immune system as the reason for the policy.
“A recipient is highly immunosuppressed post-transplant, which is why it’s incredibly important for the person to be vaccinated prior to transplant,” a spokesperson for the agency said. “Queensland Health prioritizes safety before, during and after a transplant.”
“Queensland follows national and international practices regarding transplantation and vaccination protocols,” the spokesperson said, adding that “the safety and well-being of all our patients is our number one priority.”
“That is why the Queensland Kidney Transplant Service has endorsed a minimum requirement of two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to receiving a kidney, lung or heart transplant,” the spokesperson added. “Prior to transplant and as per normal process, the recipient must ensure all of their vaccinations are up to date. The COVID-19 vaccination is no different.”
Several other health systems around the world have adopted similar policies, including the University of Colorado’s UCHealth.
“In almost all situations, transplant recipients and living donors at UCHealth are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to meeting other health requirements and receiving additional vaccinations,” UCHealth said in a statement when announcing its policy in early October.
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