A new federal effort announced today will help people with chronic kidney disease who need access to dialysis COVID-19 vaccination through dialysis clinics, as well as provide vaccines for healthcare workers. in dialysis centers. This effort is another important step in ensuring vaccines reach the most medically vulnerable communities and that equity continues to anchor our efforts to end the COVID-19 worldwide epidemic.
People on dialysis who contract COVID-19 often have serious adverse health consequences-half require hospitalization and 20 percent to 30 percent die from COVID-19.
In addition, advanced stage kidney disease does not equally affect racial and ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians / Alaska Natives. These same groups were less likely to receive a kidney transplant – and more likely to rely on long -term dialysis medications – than non -Hispanic whites. It is estimated that 34 percent of people who receive dialysis are Black and 19 percent are Hispanic; and that 22 percent of dialysis clinic staff are Black.
Dialysis clinics provide a reliable new way to help COVID-19 vaccine reach populations most affected by the COVID-19 worldwide epidemic. Each year, more than 550,000 people receive regular dialysis treatment through the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease Program. Dialysis partners try aboard the clinic that is part of the Medicare program to administer COVID-19 vaccine to their patients and workers.
Dialysis care providers have long experience in administering flu and hepatitis B vaccines to people receiving dialysis treatment. They also have extensive operational, logistical, and information-technology infrastructures to support COVID-19 vaccination Importantly, this effort will allow people receiving dialysis treatments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from a reliable, trained, and familiar with a place they have visited several times each week. It is also to protect healthcare care personnel for this population. To date, only 35 percent of health workers in dialysis centers have been vaccinated.
I am proud that CDC has partnered with dialysis provider organizations throughout the U.S., including the two largest operators of dialysis clinics in the country, DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care North America, to support rapid immunization of the majority of dialysis patients and healthcare staff. The CDC is partnering with additional dialysis providers to ensure the maximum possible for this population across the United States. This is another important step to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the population placed at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.