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COVID-19 update: Oct. 22, 2021

COVID-19 update: Oct. 22, 2021

ASTS statement on the role of COVID-19 vaccination for transplant candidates and recipients

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons continues to recommend routine vaccination for all organ recipients (along with timely boosters). It also recommends vaccines for those on the waiting list (if possible within time limitations). These recommendations are consistent with ASTS’ existing “routine standards of care,” which focus on patient safety by reducing known infectious disease prior to organ transplantation. Read more here.


All committee meetings through the end of October to be virtual

In order to protect the safety of our community and their patients during the wave of Delta infections occurring right now, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network will hold all committee meetings through the end of October virtually. Learn more about upcoming meetings.

OPTN Summary of Evidence on COVID-19 updated

The OPTN Summary of Evidence on SARS-CoV-2 has been updated to reflect review of additional evidence, including discussion of the Delta variant and of post-implementation data from the emergency lower respiratory testing policy.

Organ recovery teams to carry proof of vaccine

Organ recovery teams should be aware of donor hospital vaccine requirements before traveling. Given the spread of the Delta variant, many hospitals now require evidence of COVID vaccination from their employees and other professionals who enter the facility.

Some hospitals are requiring the local OPO to certify that teams are fully vaccinated, so some OPOs are also now requiring teams to show evidence of COVID vaccination.

Carrying a vaccine card or other evidence of vaccination will help recovery teams meet hospital requirements and avoid disruptions to the organ recovery process.

Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine approved for immunocompromised people

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized additional doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for certain immunosuppressed individuals, such as organ transplant recipients. For more information, refer to the FDA statement.

An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended an additional vaccine dose. We will update the COVID-19 resource page on the UNOS website with additional information as it becomes available.


Organ donation and transplantation Town Hall provides updates and information about COVID-19

On Oct. 4, a number of transplant organizations from around the world continued their partnership to create another educational webinar for the organ donation and transplantation communities. The goal was to share experiences to date and respond to questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

If you were unable to attend the webinar, a recording is now available on the UNOS COVID-19 resources page and the AST YouTube channel.

The event was the fifth educational webinar organized jointly by AST, ASTS, AOPO, CST, ESOT, ISHLT, NATCO, TTS and UNOS.

Updated COVID-19 FAQs for patients

As the pandemic continues to impact our lifesaving mission, find our newly updated list of frequently asked questions and answers on Transplant Living.

American Society of Transplantation Spanish language COVID-19 resources

Spanish language COVID-19 resources from AST, including a COVID-19 Vaccines for Hispanic Patients and Transplants recording.  


For COVID-19 related policy and operational questions, email [email protected]

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