The CDC is undertaking a major program to immunize staff and patients at dialysis centers against COVID-19.

“People on dialysis who contract COVID-19 often have severe adverse health outcomes. Half require hospitalization, and 20% to 30% die,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said in a statement. “Furthermore, advanced stage chronic kidney disease disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities … These same groups are less likely to receive a kidney transplant — and more likely to rely on long-term dialysis treatments.”

In announcing the initiative, the CDC issued these facts and recommendations on vaccinating dialysis staff:

  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices considered dialysis healthcare personnel a priority population for vaccination.
  • COVID-19 vaccination coverage among dialysis staff is low due to challenges obtaining the vaccine.
  • It might be difficult for dialysis clinic staff to obtain the vaccine because most dialysis clinics are not affiliated with hospitals. The convenience of workplace vaccination might improve vaccination coverage.
  • Because dialysis personnel work close to patients for extended periods, they are at greater risk of high-risk, work-related exposures to SARS-CoV-2.
  • Ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccination is critical to protect healthcare personnel and their medically fragile patients.1

REFERENCE

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinating dialysis patients and healthcare personnel. Last reviewed March 24, 2021.