Australians who are waiting to receive an organ transplant will reportedly be denied their procedures until they have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, even if the procedure is lifesaving in nature.

The Queensland Kidney Transplant Service endorsed a minimum COVID-19 vaccine requirement of at least two doses of the vaccine for patients seeking a kidney, lung, or heart transplant procedure, the Courier-Mail reported.

Some organ transplant patients told the outlet they were hesitant to get the vaccine prior to their procedure for fear of side effects that may affect their health.


Under the new mandate, patients will be moved to an "on hold" status until they receive the necessary doses of the vaccine. The decision to mandate the vaccine was supported by clinicians, consumers, and Indigenous representatives during a Statewide Renal Network clinical forum. The policy will be reviewed in February 2022, according to the Courier-Mail.

“A recipient is highly immunosuppressed post-transplant, which is why it’s incredibly important for the person to be vaccinated prior to transplant. Queensland Health priorities safety before, during, and after a transplant,” a Queensland spokesperson said.

Patient Dana Ward, 23, who is unvaccinated and suffers from primary hyperoxaluria, said she was told it would be a waste of an organ if she got COVID-19 after her procedure.

“I have been told that if I received a kidney and then got COVID, it would be a waste of an organ. I even have a donor ready to go, but it’s been made clear nothing will go ahead until I am fully vaccinated,” Ward explained. “Because of my ill health, I have always been hypercareful of what I put in my body. I am definitely not anti-vax but am afraid of the COVID vaccine's side effects. I am backed into a corner now and probably have to go ahead with the vaccine."

Another unvaccinated patient, Helen Oberthur, 44, who has stage 4 kidney disease, says she feels like she is "cornered" and is very uncomfortable with the idea of getting the vaccine.


“I have had every other vaccine including the flu, and it’s not been good. I have ended up so sick [that] I had to get someone to look after my son. I am not good with vaccinations and feel like I am cornered. I think it is blatant discrimination to deny me a place on a waiting list because of this. I just found out about the new policy this week and feel overwhelmed by it all,” Oberthur said.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Queensland local government for comment but did not receive a reply.