COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among patients undergoing dialysis

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In a nationwide survey of dialysis patients in the United States, a fifth of patients were reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and reluctance was particularly high among certain age and minority races and ethnic groups. The results, which will appear in an upcoming issue of JASN, show that concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for these people need to be addressed.

Compared to the general population, people with kidney failure who undergo dialysis are at greater risk of complications related to COVID-19 that can lead to hospitalization and death. In fact, data from the Centers for Medicare Service indicates that those with kidney failure had the highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to other Medicare beneficiaries. So vaccination is especially important to protect the health of these patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To assess the extent of vaccine reluctance among dialysis patients, a team led by Shuchi Anand, MD (Stanford University Medical School) and in partnership with US Renal Care, the third largest dialysis network in the United States, surveyed adults about hemodialysis. The survey, which had an English and a Spanish version, could reach adults who resembled the entire US dialysis population. Of the 1,515 patients who participated in the survey, nearly 25% were Hispanic, 30% black, and 56% had no college degree.

Twenty percent of all respondents were reluctant to seek the COVID-19 vaccine, even when it was considered safe for the general population. “To find that 80% of dialysis patients were ready to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is a fantastic sign of potentially high vaccination rates being reached in our population,” said Dr. Anand. “This high level of adoption may be due to the routine delivery of vaccines to dialysis facilities, many of which have worked hard over the past decade to improve influenza vaccination and hepatitis B vaccination coverage in this vulnerable population.”

However, vaccine uptake was lower among younger age groups, women and blacks, and Native American and Pacific islanders – up to 30% of these groups were reluctant to get vaccinated. Fifty-three percent of vaccine-reluctant patients raised concerns about the side effects.

“Public outreach needs to target these groups,” said Dr. Anand. “Racial and ethnic minorities make up a significant proportion of dialysis people. Even younger age groups, while less prone to serious illnesses, come into close contact with older people as they dialysis in common facilities several times a week. Hence the range and the high acceptance of vaccines for this age group is also crucial. ”

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More information:
“Acceptance of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Nationwide Survey,” DOI: 10.1681 / ASN.2021010104, provided by the American Society of Nephrology

Quote: COVID-19 vaccine hesitation among patients on dialysis (2021, April 29), accessed April 29, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-covid-vaccine-hesitancy-patients-dialysis. html

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