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Patient Reportedly Denied Heart Transplant Due To Being Unvaccinated

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Patient Reportedly Denied Heart Transplant Due To Being Unvaccinated
Patient Reportedly Denied Heart Transplant Due To Being Unvaccinated (Heather Dawson/Facebook/Family handout)
Patient Reportedly Denied Heart Transplant Due To Being Unvaccinated (Heather Dawson/Facebook/Family handout)

A man has reportedly been denied a heart transplant due to being unvaccinated. 

DJ Ferguson, 31, was removed from the transplant list at a hospital in Boston after refusing to have the Covid-19 vaccine, according to his family.  

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The 31-year-old man, DJ Ferguson, was removed from the transplant list at a hospital in Boston after refusing to have the Covid-19 vaccine, according to his family (Heather Dawson/Facebook)
The 31-year-old man, DJ Ferguson, was removed from the transplant list at a hospital in Boston after refusing to have the Covid-19 vaccine, according to his family (Heather Dawson/Facebook)

CBS Boston reported that Ferguson was set to be the first patient on the list to receive the transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, but has since become ​​ineligible due to his vaccination status. 

His father, David, said that his son is in dire need of the heart transplant but is still refusing to get the vaccine, which would allow him to become eligible again.

'It’s kind of against his basic principles, he doesn’t believe in it. It’s a policy they are enforcing and so because he won’t get the shot, they took him off the list of a heart transplant,' David said.

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'My son has gone to the edge of death to stick to his guns and he’s been pushed to the limit.'

A patient has reportedly been denied a heart transplant due to being unvaccinated (Family handout)
A patient has reportedly been denied a heart transplant due to being unvaccinated (Family handout)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard teaching institution, states its policy for transplant recipients to be double-vaccinated follows the same rules of other organ transplant programmes in the US.

The hospital’s statement read, “The COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation.' 

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Ferguson’s family have considered moving him to a hospital that doesn’t require transplant patients to have the vaccine, but worry he is not stable enough to be moved.

DJ Ferguson (Facebook/Heather Dawson)
DJ Ferguson (Facebook/Heather Dawson)

'We are aggressively pursuing all options, but we are running out of time,' David said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also suggested that immunocompromised people, including those who are waiting for an organ transplant, should be vaccinated as they are at a higher risk for complications. 

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NHS Blood and Transplant and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in the UK also recommend immunisation against Covid for transplant patients. 

They do, however, note that there are some circumstances which would be unsafe for such patients to receive the vaccine, including: having had a heart and lung transplant within the past six months; having had a significant increase in your immunosuppression recently such as ECP, TLI, Immunoabsorption, Rituximab or RATG; or having had severe allergic reactions in the past.

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant told UNILAD, 'Your vaccination status does not affect whether you can receive a transplant or can donate organs in the UK.'

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online 

Featured Image Credit: Heather Dawson/Facebook/CBS Boston

Topics: News, Coronavirus, US News, Health

Gabriella Ferlita
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