Virginia congressman fighting for unvaccinated Americans in need of organ transplants

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) introduced the SAVE Act to stop organ transplant centers from denying patients who are unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 4:30 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - There are reports of some organ transplant centers denying patients who refuse to get the COVID-19 shot.

But Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) said it’s unfair to deny lifesaving transplants to people who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He’s introduced a bill in Congress to prevent that from happening.

“The vaccine so often is unrelated to the situation that they’re in what kind of transplant they’re waiting for,” Cline said.

Cline said he is not against the COVID-19 vaccine. He said he is vaccinated, but he’s resistant to any mandates forcing people to get the jab, especially when they are waiting on a lifesaving transplant.

He said his legislation, the SAVE Act — short for ‘Stop Arduous Vaccine Enforcement’ – would prohibit transplant centers from denying anyone receiving or donating an organ solely based on their vaccination status.

“It should not deny you a place in line to receive a lifesaving transplant because of a choice that you made about the vaccine,” Cline said. “In fact, what you have in that case is a list of people who are blacklisted from receiving a life saving transplant. It becomes more of a death list.”

Some health experts argue organ recipients are at higher risk of severe infections, making the COVID-19 vaccine essential.

The Department of Health and Human Services said more than 106,000 people nationwide are on the waitlist for transplants.

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