British Transplantation Society guidance during COVID-19

Gary Hodgson, Medicines Information Pharmacist, North West Medicines Information CentrePublished Last updated See all updates

Summary of the documents holding key information regarding the coronavirus and professional practice from the British Transplant Society.

Background

The British Transplant Society (BTS) and the Centre of Evidence in Transplantation have collaborated to provide an open access repository of current and emerging evidence for solid organ donors, recipients and potential recipients in the context of COVID-19.

Various guidance documents are also made available which are summarised below.

‘Coronavirus: COVID-19 Information for transplant professionals’ includes advice such as: patients must be reminded not to stop their immunosuppression in the event of infection, unless recommended to do so by a transplant professional; levels of immunosuppression should be reviewed, but generalised immunosuppression reduction that may jeopardise organ function is not recommended.

‘Guidance on the management of transplant recipients diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID19’, discusses when to review, reduce the dose of, or discontinue drugs such as azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil and calcineurin inhibitors; it also discusses issues with additional agents (such as ACEI, ARB and NSAIDs) and potential interactions between transplant medicines and COVID-19 treatments, such as antivirals used in some trial protocols (note: this guidance does not cover cardiothoracic or small bowel transplant recipients).

A Position Statement which supports vaccination, including a third dose, against COVID-19 in solid organ and islet transplant recipients and patients who are listed for transplantation on the UK transplant list.

Joint Organ Tissue Donation and Transplantation (OTDT) & BTS guidance, which supports COVID-19 vaccination in adult solid organ and islet transplant wait-listed patients and adult living donor transplant recipients.

COVID-19 Vaccine – Q&As for Clinicians and Patients answers commonly asked questions, such as:

  • If I received the first dose of the vaccine and am waiting for the second or third to be administered, will I be able to have a transplant if it is offered to me?
  • I am on the transplant waiting list. Will I need to be suspended from the transplant list for a period of time after receiving the vaccine?
  • If I have recently received my transplant should I have the vaccine?
  • Could the vaccines cause rejection of my transplanted organ?
  • Will the vaccines interact with any other medicines?
  • Why should I take 3 doses of the vaccine?

Change history

  1. Updated questions included in the Q&A document.
  1. Updated that the position statement and FAQ now have information around receiving a third dose of vaccine.
  1. Resources checked and information remains correct.
  1. Links to "COVID-19 Vaccine – Q&As for Clinicians and Patients" & "position statement" updated
  1. Link to the "Position statement" on vaccination against COVID-19 in solid organ and islet transplant recipients updated.
  2. Published
  1. Link to "COVID-19 Vaccine – Q&As for Clinicians and Patients" updated.