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COVID-19 update: Sept. 24, 2021

COVID-19 update: Sept. 24, 2021

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. The OPTN Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee compiled this document to include the latest information known for minimizing the risk of donor-derived COVID-19 transmission while maximizing donor utilization. It has developed the summary in collaboration with colleagues representing AST, ASTS, AOPO, HRSA and the CDC.

All committee meetings through the end of October and all summer 2021 regional meetings 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 OPTN will hold all committee meetings through the end of October virtually. Learn more about upcoming meetings.

All summer 2021 regional meetings will also be held virtually. Registration and additional meeting details are available on your region’s webpage. Learn more about regional meetings.


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.


The ethical implications of continuing living donor transplantation during COVID-19

Paper offers rationale and recommendations for continuing living donor transplantation when resources are stretched.

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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