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Utahn Who Has Had Three Heart Transplants Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Lauren Holbrook was planning on being eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 1 but was surprised to get an appointment this week.

“I just got an automated email two days ago because I’m a transplant patient and qualify for the vaccine, come set up an appointment,” Holbrook said.

She was thrilled when she got an appointment for her first dose on Friday. The 28-year-old has had three heart transplants.

Effective Immediately: Utahns Ages 16+ With Certain Health Conditions Can Get Vaccine

“I was born perfectly healthy and contracted what is called Kawasaki disease when I was 4 months old,” she said. “I had my first transplant when I was 18 months old, a second when I was 12 and third when I was 14 due to coronary artery disease.”

Holbrook takes immunosuppressants daily so that her body does not reject her latest transplant. So when the pandemic hit, she took drastic steps to keep healthy.

“Quarantine as much as possible, pretend you can’t see anybody, pretend that you are under quarantine and restrictions because that’s really what you need to do when you are immunocompromised — you just can’t risk it,” she said.

She’s kept her social bubble small to her roommate and a couple of family members.

“I miss interacting with people, I miss being able to meet new people,” Holbrook said.

She is relieved to finally get the COVID-19 vaccine but knows it does not mean she’ll be out of the woods.

“Until others are vaccinated, there is still that risk of being able to get the disease,” she said.

She is hoping others will take advantage of getting the vaccine when it becomes available to them.

“I am very pro-vaccine because again, one of the reasons that I am able to live such a normalize life is because we have widespread vaccination,” Holbrook said.

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