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