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Transplant patients to have mandatory full COVID vaccinations at London Health Sciences Centre

Published on 02/11/21 at 11:20am

The Ontario-based London Health Sciences Centre’s transplant program is implementing a full COVID-19 vaccination requirement for future organ transplant recipients at the organisation’s hospitals. LHSC staff announced that in order to receive an organ transplant through the organisation, a recipient will need to be fully vaccinated with a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr Adam Dukelow, LHSC Chief Medical Officer, stated “Those who are not fully vaccinated will be placed on hold until they receive both vaccines or their care team accepts their exemption.” The policy outlines that unvaccinated people will be placed on hold until a week after their second dose. Dukelow continues, “COVID-19 has a mortality risk that is five times higher in transplant patients than in our general population. Research shows these patients will not respond as well or at all to the vaccine if they receive it after the transplant.”

Dr Anthony Jevnikar, co-chair of the program, said that LHSC is “not putting up barriers to life-saving transplants,” but that the “foundational element of this policy is patient safety.”

Meanwhile, Dukelow has clarified that “Essential care partners such as those supporting labouring women and patients accompanying children to appointments will not be denied entry based on vaccination.” Unvaccinated care partners will however have to follow stricter rules in light of their vaccination status, being required to go directly “to the room of the patient they are helping to care for and not visit any public spaces such as cafeterias or other parts of the building,” and also being required to wear a mask.

Ana Ovey

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