URMC adding COVID-19 vaccination requirement for organ transplant waitlist

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The University of Rochester is adding a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for its organ transplant waitlist.

In a letter obtained by News10NBC, the health system said that patients must get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Jan. 18, 2022, to remain active on its waitlist.

The letter says patients will be on formal hold until they become vaccinated, or until URMC believes levels of COVID-19 in the community are at a level it deems safe enough to perform transplants on unvaccinated patients.

It says patients will not lose waitlist time being on hold.

Patients who have gotten COVID-19 and recovered are not exempt from the requirement, URMC says.

News10NBC’s Patrick Moussignac asked Strong Memorial Hospital Dr. Jeremy Taylor if patients on the waiting list will be required to get a COVID-19 booster shot to remain on the list since they were part of the first group to receive their shots last year.

"I think that might be coming at some point. You know right now we’re recommending that all individuals are at least fully vaccinated which is two doses of the mRNA, or just one dose of the Johnson & Johnson. The mRNA vaccine probably is preferable in the transplant population, but yeah certainly at some point in time it might come down to, you know, a third dose," Taylor said.

Read the full letter below (mobile users, click here):

URMC Organ Letter by News10NBC on Scribd