Prioritizing Our Kidney Community’s Needs Amidst COVID Vaccine Campaign

July 07, 2021, 2:52pm EDT

As states reopen and more Americans receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines, many kidney patients still can’t rest easy. They have questions about whether the current vaccines are fully effective in transplant patients, potentially prolonging this pandemic for them and those that care for them.

In light of this information, NKF recently launched a petition calling on our public leadership to invest in research that will study how the vaccines are working among our patient population, and to ensure that immunocompromised populations are protected against COVID-19 and future variants.

COVID and Kidney Health

This virus has already had a devastating impact on our community. Kidney patients saw higher rates of COVID-19 infection and higher mortality rates, particularly among those who had received a transplant. We’re also seeing that COVID-19 survivors are at increased risk for Acute Kidney Injury, which can increase chances of Chronic Kidney Disease and kidney failure.

These challenges further highlight the need for an increased investment into activities that improve our understanding of how COVID affects kidney health and to identify patients who might be at risk for COVID-related kidney disease.

Our Vaccine Call to Action

With a goal of protecting kidney patients from this ongoing threat, petition signers are calling on our public leaders and policymakers to prioritize research, prevention, and public health activities that:

  • Improve our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on kidney health;
  • Identify COVID-19 survivors who may not be aware of their risk for kidney disease;
  • Ensure the effectiveness of future vaccines in immunocompromised patients, and;
  • Prioritize kidney patients for booster shots, should they offer the prospect of additional immunity from COVID-19.

Both the unique risks that COVID poses to kidney patients and the concerns about vaccine efficacy in immunocompromised populations underscore the need for our public leaders to keep prioritizing the kidney community, especially as they begin to answer the question of who will receive booster shots and when. Please add your voice to our petition and join this critical campaign.

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