October 6, 2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Colorado-based UCHealth health care provider has new rules in place that make vaccination against the coronavirus mandatory for almost all of its organ transplant patients, media reported.
The healthcare system’s new policy on transplants made headlines on Tuesday after Tim Geitner, a House member representing the Colorado state, revealed that a Colorado Springs resident was denied a kidney transplant because she did not get a COVID-19 shot, The Washington Post newspaper said. Geitner called the decision “disgusting” and discriminatory.
The lawmaker also published the letter that the patient allegedly received last week from UCHealth’s transplant centre. In it, the centre notifies the woman that she would be “inactivated” on a kidney transplant waiting list, adding that she has 30 days to get vaccinated, otherwise she will be removed from the list completely.
The newspaper said it could not independently verify the woman’s story. While UCHealth declined to comment on the matter to the news outlet, citing federal privacy laws, it confirmed that nearly all of its transplant recipients and organ donors must get COVID-19 injection, in addition to other vaccinations and health requirements.
UCHealth is not the only health care provider to introduce such rules, spokesman Dan Weaver said, adding that other transplant centres in the United States have similar policies or are transitioning to them. The centre explained that such requirements are driven by the fact that transplant patients are much more likely to die if they contract the coronavirus, with mortality rate ranging from about 20% to over 30%.