Washington state man claims hospital refusing transplants to the unvaccinated

A Washington state patient who said he will ultimately be denied an organ transplant due to his refusal to undergo a coronavirus vaccine injection spoke out on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday.

Derek Kovick told host Tucker Carlson the University of Washington Medical Center is not permitting patients to remain on transplant lists if they refuse to get the jab. 

Carlson went on to point to reporting from Seattle journalist Jason Rantz wherein another man named Sam Allen made a similar claim, saying he had received a letter to that effect after informing his doctor he wouldn’t take the vaccine because of its risks of cardiac problems for someone who already physiologically has a weak heart.

“Your name has been removed from the waitlist at the University of Washington Medical Center. This was done in follow-up to your recent conversation with providers regarding the heart transplant selection committee’s concerns about compliance with COVID-19-related policies and recommendations,” the letter read, according to KTTH. “We can re-assess you for reinstatement on the waiting list should the compliance concerns resolve in the future or, if you wish, refer you to another center for evaluation in the meantime.”

On “Tucker Carlson Tonight“, Carlson called the situation “beyond belief” and essentially dismissing patients to “let them die” because they refused to submit to an unrelated medical procedure.

“I’ve been on the transplant list for my third liver transplant since last fall, and I’ve got some bile duct issues. So this past week, I needed to go to the University of Washington in Seattle to have a procedure done,” Kovick recounted. 

“Before I came up, a nurse called me and said that the infectious disease team had met and decided that all of his transplant patients now have to have a vaccine, otherwise we will be placed ‘Status 7’ which means you aren’t going to be on the transplant list – you don’t have to requalify, but you basically have to adhere to the rules which is having a COVID vaccine.”

Kovick said the decision by UW was sprung on him “last minute” and was told by a hospital staffer he should be working on getting a vaccine very soon.

“The state of affairs obviously changed because the issues that I had with my liver: a high fever and other side effects that are blatantly what some of my peers have experienced are a side effect from any of the COVID shots,” he said, adding that the same symptoms of his liver condition are those of the coronavirus shots.

He said the mandate that he gets a shot in order to qualify for a liver transplant is “putting [him] in more jeopardy because those are already the symptoms I’m having as we speak – then to throw a COVID vaccine on top of that, which could experience even more severe [symptoms].”

“I thought that, maybe my medical freedom was starting to be challenged a little bit for myself: I’ve seen it happen through the whole United States, but now here it is in my kitchen.”

“This is it. You basically have a hill to die on. You choose the vaccine and get to see another day or you don’t and you die.”


When reached by Fox News for comment, the University of Washington Medicine issued the following statement:

“The safety of our patients is our primary focus and guides discussions with our patients preparing to receive a solid organ transplant knowing that they will be on medications that suppress their immune system after the transplant. ​Our physicians make a determination regarding vaccine recommendations and requirements, including COVID-19 vaccination, based on the risk factors of the individual patient and degree of immunosuppression they will experience. The suppression of their immune system puts them at increased risk for infections, including an increased risk for hospitalization and severe complications due to COVID-19. ​​We also know that patients after solid organ transplant do not respond as well to the COVID-19 vaccine due to the ongoing post-transplant immunosuppression, which is why the CDC now recommends that they receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. ​Many of these patients also have other health conditions that put them at increased risk for COVID-19, further increasing the importance of vaccination. Vaccinating patients prior to transplant increases their ability to respond to the vaccine and helps keep them safe throughout the transplant process. Patients should continue to discuss their individual risks with their doctors.”

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