COVID-19 vaccines for transplant patients

When will COVID-19 vaccines become available for transplant recipients?

All Iowans age 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, as determined by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The number of vaccines UI Health Care can provide is dependent on the number of doses we receive from the state and county. We will continue to partner with our local and state health departments to vaccinate as many Iowans as possible.

For convenience and ease of scheduling, UI Health Care is offering vaccination appointments available through self-scheduling online and via MyChart.

The first available appointment for a vaccine is the best one for you and our community. If you have the opportunity to be vaccinated elsewhere, such as through your local pharmacy, we encourage you to accept that appointment to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

As a transplant recipient, should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Weighing the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated is important. While there is not yet data available on the COVID-19 vaccine in transplant recipients, it is believed that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks for transplant recipients. You should discuss your options with your provider.

We encourage transplant patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to discuss your options with your transplant nurse coordinator and your provider.

It is important for transplant recipients to continue to follow all current safety guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 after vaccination.

Will getting vaccinated cause me to lose my transplanted organ?

We do not believe that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would trigger organ rejection or other major illness that could jeopardize your organ.

Are there any studies focusing on transplant recipients who get the vaccine?

A team at Johns Hopkins Medicine has initiated a study focusing on transplant recipients who get the vaccine. All solid organ transplant recipients who intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine are invited to enroll in this national observational study looking at antibody development and durability after vaccination. Results from this study will provide important guidance to transplant recipients, many of whom are currently reluctant to get the vaccine given its novelty.

Participation in the study involves at-home, painless capillary blood sampling before and after vaccination and the completion of several short surveys (vaccine side effects, impact of allergies). Initial information generated from this study should be available in February-March of 2021 followed by more extensive information planned for publication throughout 2021.

Learn more or enroll in this study

I am a candidate for an organ transplant, should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

We strongly encourage transplant candidates to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the time of transplant to allow for time for your body to develop antibodies against the virus. A vaccination is not required to receive a transplant at UI Health Care.

Should I become inactive on the organ donor waitlist until I complete the COVID-19 vaccination series?

You should discuss this with your transplant nurse coordinator before making any decisions.

Last reviewed: 
August 2021

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