Survey of current transplant center practices regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the United States

Benjamin E. Hippen, David A. Axelrod, Kennan Maher, Ruixin Li, Deepali Kumar, Yasar Caliskan, Tarek Alhamad, Mark Schnitzler, Krista L. Lentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

An electronic survey canvassing current policies of transplant centers regarding a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for transplant candidates and living donors was distributed to clinicians at US solid organ transplant centers performing transplants from October 14, 2021–November 15, 2021. Responses were received from staff at 141 unique transplant centers. These respondents represented 56.4% of US transplant centers, and responding centers performed 78.5% of kidney transplants and 82.4% of liver transplants in the year prior to survey administration. Only 35.7% of centers reported implementing a vaccine mandate, while 60.7% reported that vaccination was not required. A minority (42%) of responding centers with a vaccine mandate for transplant candidates also mandated vaccination for living organ donors. Centers with a vaccine mandate most frequently cited clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of pre-transplant vaccination (82%) and stewardship obligations to ensure organs were transplanted into the lowest risk patients (64%). Centers without a vaccine mandate cited a variety of reasons including administrative, equity, and legal considerations for their decision. Transplant centers in the United States exhibit significant heterogeneity in COVID-19 vaccination mandate policies for transplant candidates. While all centers encourage vaccination, most centers have not mandated COVID-19 vaccination for candidates and living donors, citing administrative opposition, legal prohibitions, and concern about equity in access to transplants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
  • ethics
  • ethics and public policy
  • infection and infectious agents – viral
  • infectious disease
  • patient safety
  • solid organ transplantation
  • vaccine

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