BOSTON (NBC) – A 31-year-old Boston man was taken off the heart transplant list because he is refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, his family said.
DJ Ferguson’s family says he was first on the list to receive the transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, but he is no longer eligible due to his vaccination status.
Ferguson is not vaccinated and his family says he is not against it but after doing his own research he feels like the vaccine could do him more harm than good.
“There is some adverse reactions given his condition, and he is a man, he made his decision,” said Tracey Ferguson of her son DJ.
The family adds his medical team has assured DJ that it is medically okay for him to get the vaccine…But he remains steadfast.
“He said, I can’t, then he said to the doctor, are you really going to let me die over a shot,” said Tracey Ferguson.
Brigham and Women’s released a statement, saying they are “like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation.”
George Annas is a professor of Health Law and Ethics at Boston University’s school of public health and says ethically, the hospital is on very strong ground.
“It is a perfectly reasonable qualification for a heart transplant to take the COVID vaccine,” Annas said.
Currently, DJ is a father of two children with another child on the way and his family is currently weighing what to do next for him.
“I just want my son to get a new heart, and have longevity and happiness and get on with life,” said Tracey Ferguson.