Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Queensland, the Australian state that is home to that nation’s third-largest city, has confirmed that all people hoping to benefit from an organ transplant in the state must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a requirement of treatment.
7News, an Australian media outlet, was first to report this development, which authorities say is necessary because transplant patients have a weakened immunity system and face a greater risk of death if they contract COVID.
Queensland Health, the official government body that oversees policy in the state, told 7News that patients will now be required to have “a minimum requirement of two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to receiving a kidney, lung or heart transplant”.
Chris Thomas of Transplant Australia, a charity that centers on supporting transplant patients and their families, said his organization agreed with the move.
“It is an extremely troubling time for patients as we are still waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel from this pandemic,” Thomas said in response to a report in a different Australian news outlet. “However, evidence from across the world clearly shows both patients waiting and those with a transplant are safer having been vaccinated against COVID-19.”
The measure was met with anger from people across the globe who have been resistant to government-compelled vaccinations or punitive measures taken against the vaccine-hesitant.
Australian Sen. Gerard Rennick, who has been pushing for an antidiscrimination bill to protect the rights of the unvaccinated, said the new policy was not meant to keep people safe.
“Blanket decisions like this (are) all about control for the sake of it and nothing to do with Health,” Rennick wrote on Facebook.
The announcement also got the attention and criticism of actress Gina Carano, who tweeted Monday, “This isn’t about your health… this is crimes against humanity.”
This isn’t about your health… this is crimes against humanity. https://t.co/t5a7BXc86N
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) December 6, 2021
While the United States does not yet have a state in which these measures have been codified into law, there is a precedent for the denial of a transplant on the grounds of vaccination status
In October, Colorado hospitals booted one woman off of a kidney transplant waiting list and denied care to another who suffers from stage 5 kidney disease because neither patient was vaccinated. The women were subsequently invited to Texas by numerous political figures and charities.
Australia has been seen by many as the poster child for extreme governmental overreach in the fight against COVID-19. In October, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis went as far as to question America’s alliance to the country, saying “its not a free country at all.”
Australia’s measures such as banning out-of-home interactions, sweeping mask mandates, and banning travel within 6 miles of a person’s house have been met with widespread protests across the country throughout the pandemic.
Queensland Health’s new policy will be reviewed in February.