- Cleveland Clinic will no longer allow people unvaccinated against COVID-19 to receive organ transplants
- Officials cite the danger that people receiving transplants face the virus as a reason for refusing to operate
- A person must also be vaccinated to donate to become a living organ donor due to fears that COVID may be able to transmit through the process.
- UCHealth in Colorado made headlines last week for setting a similar policy and denying a kidney transplant to an illiterate woman.
- Previous studies found that people who received organ transplants did not produce strong antibody responses to the vaccine.
The Cleveland Clinic will no longer offer organ transplants to people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, due to concerns that patients may be at high risk of contracting the virus.
The hospital says the reason for the change in policy is that immunosuppressant drugs transplant recipients must take after receiving a new organ so that their body doesn’t reject it.
Unvaccinated people will no longer be able to become live organ donors for fear that COVID may be able to transmit through the process.
The move comes after the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) in Aurora made headlines for implementing a similar policy and denying a woman the opportunity to receive a new kidney after being denied the vaccine.
The Cleveland Clinic (pictured) will now require people to be vaccinated to receive an organ transplant or become a living donor. This is because recipients must take immunosuppressant medication after a new organ is acquired, leaving them vulnerable to the virus.
In a statement sent to DailyMail.com, the Cleveland Clinic wrote, ‘The health and safety of our patients is our top priority.
‘The Cleveland Clinic recently developed safety protocols for solid organ transplants that require COVID-19 vaccination to be an active transplant candidate or living donor.
‘Vaccination is particularly important in these patients for their protection.’
Transplant recipients will have until November 1 to be vaccinated, or they will be removed from the waiting list.
For transplants involving a living donor, such as kidney and liver transplants, the person giving the organ will also need to be vaccinated.
“Living donation for organ transplant has been a life-saving treatment, but it is not without risk to the donor,” the clinic wrote in the statement.
‘For a living donor, it is important to prevent COVID-19 infection at the time of their surgery and recovery.
‘We continually strive to reduce the risk to our living donors, and vaccination is a critical component to ensuring the safest outlook and optimal outcome for donors.’
health experts discovered the potential To transmit the virus from a living donor to a recipient after transplantation.
Organ transplant recipients are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
After receiving the organ, recipients will often take immunosuppressant medications for about six months for the rest of their lives.
This is to prevent a person’s immune system from rejecting the new organ as an unfamiliar foreign object.
However, these drugs also weaken a person’s immune system, and it is harder for them to fight off infections like COVID.
However, even vaccines may not be particularly effective in people taking immunosuppressant medications.
A Johns Hopkins study from June found that people who had recently received kidney transplants were not producing a strong immune response to COVID-19 vaccines.
Less than one in every five kidney transplant recipients in the study developed a strong anti-body reaction to the vaccine.
A later Johns Hopkins study found that organ transplant recipients were showing acceptable antibody responses after a vaccine booster dose, however.
Leilani Lutali (pictured), 56, who has kidney failure, has been denied a life-saving kidney transplant because she hasn’t been vaccinated because of religious beliefs
The Cleveland Clinic joins UCHealth in the decision to prevent non-vaccinated people from receiving organ transplants.
Re-born Christian woman Leilani Lutali from Colorado made headlines last week when the hospital would not approve her kidney transplant surgery until she found a COVID-19 vaccine.
For people with kidney disease, receiving a transplant rather than receiving treatment such as dialysis can significantly increase their lifespan.
But Lutali said the embryonic cell lines used to develop some vaccines go against his Christian faith.
Embryonic cell lines, which are lab-grown cells based on aborted embryonic cells collected in the 1970s and 1980s, were used for research and development of shots, along with many other popular drugs.
“As a Christian, I cannot support anything that has anything to do with abortion of children, and the sanctity of life is priceless to me,” she told the Associated Press.