Covid vaccination and transplantation

Posted on: 15th October 2021

You may have seen some (inaccurate) reports on social media in the last few days suggesting people who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 who are on the waiting list will not be eligible for a transplant. We've also had some queries about whether having - or not having - the Covid-19 vaccination affects a person's ability to donate or receive a transplant.

We have heard from NHS Blood and Transplant who have confirmed that you can donate or receive a transplant whether you’ve had the Covid-19 vaccination or not, as long as you're eligible.

Their full statement is as follows:

"You can receive a transplant whether you have had the Covid-19 vaccination or not, as long as you are eligible. Being on the active waiting-list for a transplant is dependent, not on vaccination status, but a range of clinical factors. When it comes to donation, you can also be an organ donor regardless of whether you have received the vaccine.

We would always advise people to have the vaccination if possible, as it gives people the best chance of protection against the most severe consequences of Covid. As transplantation requires a patient to be immunosuppressed, in some cases it may be safer for some patients to hold off or wait for a transplant, rather than undergo the transplant if it will increase their risk of contracting or dying from Covid. The risks versus benefits of transplantation are always discussed in detail with the patient and kept under regular review.”

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