White House Initiative to Provide COVID-19 Vaccines to Dialysis Clinics Draws Praise
Medical organizations and dialysis companies commend the Biden government’s March 25 announcement to partner with outpatient dialysis clinics to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to patients receiving in-center dialysis.
“Through this partnership, the administration will deliver vaccines directly to dialysis treatment centers so that patients who typically go to treatment three times a week can be vaccinated at their care location,” a White House statement said.
The partnership is part of a $ 10 billion investment “to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines to the hardest-hit and high-risk communities across the country.”
Dialysis patients who become infected with COVID-19 often have serious health consequences and have a hospital stay rate of 50% and a death rate of 20% to 30% from COVID-19.
The partnership is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and dialysis organizations in the United States. ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) as well as dialysis providers Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), DaVita and US Renal Care made statements praising the initiative.
“ASN is strongly in favor of this critical move to get the vaccine into the arms of one of the most vulnerable groups – Americans with kidney failure who are on dialysis – who can now get the vaccine right at their dialysis facilities, when and where they are being treated, “said Dr. Susan E. Quaggin, president of ASN. “Our patients deserve nothing less, and I sincerely thank President Biden, the White House, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for realizing this reality.”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been committed to ensuring that priority is given to kidney patients, especially those on dialysis or living with a transplant,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation. “The partnership with dialysis clinics announced today will bring significant progress towards this goal and help reduce the risk of increased complications and mortality in kidney patients from the novel coronavirus, especially in color communities.”
Rob Kossmann, MD, FMCNA’s chief medical officer, noted that most kidney failure patients treated at the company’s dialysis centers have high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. “These conditions put our patients at a much higher risk of serious complications, hospitalizations, and death if they contract COVID-19,” said Dr. Kossmann. “They also often face transportation and other challenges that make access to a vaccine on its own very difficult. As our nurses in our dialysis centers routinely offer other vaccinations and medications, this national introduction is a significant step forward. “
“The dialysis provider community has come together to care for the needs of our patients,” said Javier Rodriguez, CEO of DaVita. “We praise the Biden administration for direct access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Dialysis patients are one of the most risky and diverse patient groups. Giving patients direct access to the vaccine in a convenient and trusted location of care improves equity in healthcare, addresses challenges at third-party locations, and reduces hesitation. “
“We are extremely pleased that the Biden Administration has decided to work with dialysis centers to deliver a more effective vaccine to our vulnerable patients and our staff,” said Mary Dittrich, chief medical officer of US Renal Care Immediately remove barriers that have hindered dialysis patients’ access to COVID-19 vaccines. We are very encouraged by the action by the Biden government that will save lives. “
“Dialysis providers routinely vaccinate their patients against influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis B and are equipped to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the American Kidney Fund, an advocacy group for people with kidney disease, said in its statement. “We need to protect our country’s dialysis patients from this pandemic as soon as possible, and this decision by the Biden Harris administration will help achieve that goal.”
The group added, “We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for their commitment to health equality and for prioritizing the distribution of the vaccine to get it immediately to the populations in need of it most, including frontline workers and people with kidney failure. “
- Fact Sheet: The Biden Administration announced historic investments of $ 10 billion to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and build vaccine confidence in the most affected and vulnerable communities. March 25, 2021. Press release.
- NKF welcomes the White House initiative to vaccinate dialysis patients nationwide at the center. March 25, 2021. Press release.
- Fresenius Medical Care North America welcomes the White House for national referral of vaccines to dialysis centers. March 25, 2021. Press release.
- DaVita Statement on the Government’s Nationwide Program to Vaccinate Dialysis Patients. March 25, 2021. Press release.
This article originally appeared in the Renal and Urology News