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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – A Virginia man with kidney failure who has already recovered from COVID-19 was kicked off a kidney transplant list for refusing to get vaccinated.

Shamgar Connors, who suffers from stage five kidney failure and is on dialysis every day, told Newsmax last week that UVA Transplant Center removed him from the active kidney transplant waiting list because of his vaccine status. He had been on the list for three years.

During a phone call that Connors provided to Newsmax, a doctor at the transplant center described his refusal to get jabbed as a “deal breaker” for his medical care and shot down his request to apply for a religious exemption.

“Our policy is if you … in order to have people active on the transplant list and get a transplant you need to be fully vaccinated,” she said. “You don’t want to move forward?”

“I’d rather die of kidney failure,” Connors answered.

“Ok, so this may be, I mean this may be a crossroads at your evaluation because … there’s not going to be any exception to that. The science is pretty clear on the vaccine,” the doctor said.

“I just had COVID and I got over it. I’m not scared of it,” Connors responded. “Like, you have a 99.9997 percent chance to survive.”

“And that’s all pretty inaccurate data,” the doctor claimed. “But it is obviously your choice. But it’s not your choice if you want to be active on the list.”

Removal from the active waiting list means that even if someone offered Connors a kidney, he would not be able to undergo a transplant.

When Connors asked about a religious exemption to the vaccine requirement, the doctor told him that the transplant center doesn’t offer them. “This could be, you know, could be a deal breaker, but, you know, you never know what’s going to shake out,” she said.

But without a new kidney, Connors may not live more than a few years, he said. “I mean, my condition won’t get any better, that’s what I’m told by the doctor,” he told Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield. “So unless I get a kidney transplant, yeah, the only alternative is death.”

“And I’ve already been on the wait list three years, maybe more than that actually. And so now I’d have to start all over somewhere else, so most likely by the time a kidney would come up which is for me – O positive blood – six or seven years is what they tell me the wait time is. I might not be alive by then.”

Data has shown that organ transplant recipients with prior infection have stronger protection against COVID-19 than vaccinated patients. A study published last month by Canadian researchers reported that unvaccinated transplant patients who recovered from COVID mounted more robust T-cell responses to the virus compared to patients after mRNA vaccination.

COVID-19 infection provides effective immunity to the virus, according to a wealth of studies, including one published this week by the CDC, which found that unvaccinated people with naturally acquired immunity fared better than the vaccinated during the delta wave last year. Only 0.003 percent of unvaccinated Californians with a prior infection were hospitalized with COVID between May and November 2021, the study related.

Other research indicates that natural immunity continues to offer significant protection against hospitalization and death with 0micron, which is milder than past variants.

“After hearing this lady speak to me, I don’t believe that any of these people are qualified to be doctors,” Connors told Stinchfield. “I have natural immunity now. Why would I get a vaccine now for something I’m immune to?”

“What’s worse is, you know, you can hear the lady’s voice, she has no empathy whatsoever,” he said. “And what makes me the most sick about it is when I came home and told my wife this, you know, she just burst into tears because she’s in health care. She knows how serious this is, and it’s just, it’s really, it’s just disgusting.”

“But I think they should be held accountable because there’s other people that are even worse off and more sick than me that probably could use some kind of kidney, liver, lung, whatever. And they’re all being denied over nothing.”

Unvaccinated people have faced barriers to organs transplants across the United States in recent months, including in Colorado, where multiple hospitals have denied care to patients without jabs. Other health care systems requiring COVID vaccination for transplants include UW Medicine in Washington, Ohio’s University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic.

The Australian state of Queensland has also barred the unvaccinated from organ transplants.