An unvaccinated patient from the University of Colorado Hospital received a letter indicating that they are facing removal from a kidney transplant waitlist unless vaccinated. The letter was sent to Leilani Lutali — a Colorado woman with stage 5 renal failure, per the CBS 4 Denver report, after being denied religious exemption from UCHealth’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.
Lutali had reportedly met a willing donor at her Bible study but is now at risk of full denial of service from UCHealth due to her status as an unvaccinated patient.
“The transplant team at University of Colorado Hospital has determined that it is necessary to place you inactive on the waiting list,” stated the letter, granting Lutali a 30-day window to get vaccinated before facing complete removal from the list.
UCHealth’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate has affected patients and staff alike. The hospital additionally announced the dismissal of 119 employees that did not receive the vaccine.
“Despite the loss of these employees, UCHealth’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement has helped to improve staffing. With broad vaccination rates, fewer employees are testing positive for COVID-19 and needing to be out of work while they recover,” said UCHealth spokesperson Dan Weaver, included in a companywide notice sent on Oct. 5.
The state is nearly 80 percent vaccinated and is witnessing a new surge in COVID-19 cases since Gov. Jared Polis reinstated the mask mandate back on July 17.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela