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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.
  • It is preferred that transplant candidates are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination 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 and receive their COVID-19 vaccine. You should discuss the best time for vaccination with your transplant team.

Because transplant recipients have a weakened immune system, they may require more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. You should discuss with your transplant team the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters and the dosing interval that is recommended for you.

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

How Do I Receive the COVID Vaccine?

Treatment of COVID-19

All transplant recipients are eligible for treatment if they develop COVID-19. A positive home test, rapid antigen test, or PCR test is required. Treatment must be initiated within five to seven days of symptom onset, so it is imperative that you test if you develop symptoms and that you notify your healthcare provider immediately. Treatment options currently include the oral medications Paxlovid™* and molnupiravir, and intravenous infusions of remdesivir. Your healthcare provider will determine the best treatment for you. Because Paxlovid interacts with several anti-rejection medications, it is imperative that you notify your transplant team if you are prescribed this medication.

There are no monoclonal antibodies available at the moment for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. New formulations of antibodies that are effective against the currently circulating COVID-19 subvariants are being developed.

* Paxlovid is a trademark of Pfizer.

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 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.
  • Find out more about our testing procedures.

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

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
  • Visitor restrictions: We are currently restricting visitors at our locations to protect patients and staff. Find out more about our policy.