Your COVID-19 immunization status can have far-reaching implications.
In September, President Biden stated that Government employees, health care workers, educators, and businesses that employ more than 100 people must be vaccinated.
Military leadership has stated that personnel who do not receive the vaccine will be dishonorably discharged and deemed ineligible for VA benefits. New York Governor Kathy Hochul warned that unvaccinated healthcare workers “can be replaced” and made preliminary moves to activate the National Guard. Governor Houcul noted that roughly 16% (70,000) of the state’s 450,000 healthcare workers had not been vaccinated.
Major healthcare providers in California, Colorado, New York, and Texas released thousands of workers this week. NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said Wednesday said that unvaccinated players will not play in certain arenas and will not be paid for games they do not play. Bass noted that the “policy could impact players with the Warriors, Nets, and Knicks, as all three teams play in areas in which local jurisdictions are requiring people to be fully vaccinated to be allowed indoors for entertainment.”
This week, multiple sources report that hospital systems are now declining organ transplant surgery to unvaccinated patients.
The Washington Post reports that a Colorado-based hospital system is denying life-saving procedures to unvaccinated patients in “almost all situations.”
A UCHealth official’s statement noted that patients who receive an organ transplant are at “significant risk for COVID-19….this is why it is essential that both the recipient and the living donor be vaccinated.” The official also noted the longstanding policy that “surgeries may be postponed until patients take all required precautions in order to give them the best chance at positive outcomes.”
Fox News is reporting “that a Colorado woman with stage 5 renal failure was denied a transplant due to her and her donor being unvaccinated against the coronavirus.” The patient, Leilani Lutali, was informed by letter that she had 30 days to begin the vaccine process or she would be removed from the transplant list.” Lutali states that in August, the hospital “confirmed there was no COVID shot needed.” Lutali states that she has not been vaccinated “because there are too many unknowns yet” and her donor, Jaimee Fougner, has not been vaccinated for “religious reasons.”
Lutali’s situation came to the attention of Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Colo.), who referred to the hospital’s policy as “disgusting” and is now advocating for reform.
The hospital’s spokesman, Dan Weaver, pointed out that healthcare system’s stipulations for transplant procedures is not new, noting that smokers must first quit smoking before being eligible for a lung transplant. Weaver stated that “physicians must consider the short and long-term health risks for patients as they consider whether to recommend an organ transplant.” A statement or ruling on what might exempt a patient from the required vaccination status was not provided.
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