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UPMC Transplant Services: Keeping You Safe During COVID-19

At UPMC Transplant Services, we recognize the importance of organ donation. We have been pioneers in the field for nearly 40 years and are committed to providing world-class care to our patients during every step of their transplant journey.

That commitment remains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transplant patients may be especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they may have suppressed immune systems or serious underlying health conditions.

We are doing everything we can to protect them. We want to make sure they reach the end of their transplant journey healthier than they began.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Transplant Candidates and Recipients

Recommendations for transplant candidates and recipients:

  • It is recommended that all transplant candidates, transplant recipients, and their household members receive COVID-19 vaccination when the vaccine is available to them.
  • It is preferred that transplant candidates are vaccinated more than two weeks before transplantation.
  • Transplant recipients who are not yet vaccinated should wait between one and three months after transplantation to be vaccinated. You should discuss the best time with your transplant team.
  • Transplant candidates and recipients who had COVID-19 should still be vaccinated.

Transplant recipients vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) should have a third dose at least 28 days after the second dose. On Oct. 25, 2021, the CDC recommended that transplant recipients 18 years old and older who received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may receive a single COVID-19 booster (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) at least six months after receiving the third mRNA dose, for a total of four doses.

Transplant recipients 18 years of age and older who received the single-dose J&J vaccine are eligible to receive a booster shot. The booster shot should be given at least two months after the first dose of the J&J vaccine. Any COVID-19 vaccine, including another dose of the J&J vaccine, can be used for the booster shot.

To schedule a vaccine dose at UPMC, visit Vaccine.UPMC.com or call the UPMC vaccination line at 844-876-2822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day.

Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccine for Transplant Recipients (PDF)

How Do I Receive the COVID Vaccine?

Monoclonal Antibodies

All transplant recipients are eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment within seven days of symptom onset. A positive home test, rapid antigen test, or PCR test is required.

Monoclonal antibody treatment for post-exposure prophylaxis is available to any transplant recipient who is exposed to an individual with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.

Learn more about monoclonal antibodies.

Your Safety Is Our Top Priority at UPMC Transplant Services

If you need an organ transplant, you may need to visit us for treatment before surgery, for the surgery itself, or after your procedure.

If you do need to come in for an appointment, we are taking every step to keep you safe.

We are following all recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • We have expanded our testing capacity for the coronavirus. Find out more about our testing procedures.
  • We require all adults and children over 2 years old to wear facemasks at all times inside all UPMC facilities.
  • We use hospital-grade disinfectants to extensively clean all of our facilities. We are especially focused on sanitizing high-touch areas like countertops and doorknobs.
  • Our health care workers can provide expert care for any of your medical needs. We have enough supplies of masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them — and you — safe.
  • To protect our patients and staff, and to limit the potential for the spread of infectious disease, we currently are restricting visitors and volunteers at UPMC facilities. See our updated policy.

To find out more about what we're doing to provide care and keep you safe from COVID-19, visit upmc.com/COVID19.

What to Expect During Your In-Person Transplant Visit

It's safe to make a doctors appointment and undergo a procedure.

We have updated our facility policies to provide necessary protection to patients and staff, rolling out extensive precautions.

Before your appointment, talk to your doctor about what to expect on your visit, including:

  • When to arrive.
  • What to do when you get there.
  • What you should bring.

You must wear a facemask to enter our facilities and continue to wear it throughout the building. We also ask that you follow COVID-19 preventive measures, such as regular handwashing and proper social distancing.

More than ever, we're working to protect you. You can count on us.

More UPMC Resources

  • Schedule your appointment: To schedule an appointment, call the UPMC Referral Line at 1-800-533-8762 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or, you can request an appointment online.
  • Video visits: To learn more about MyUPMC Video Visits, or to schedule one with your doctor or specialist, visit UPMC.com/VideoVisits.
  • Visitor restrictions: We are currently restricting visitors at our locations to protect patients and staff. Find out more about our policy.