Home Dialysis and the COVID-19 Vaccine
For the millions of Americans like you living with kidney disease, COVID-19 continues to pose a critical threat to your health, well-being, and treatment. The frequent addition of comorbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension puts kidney patients at even greater risk of facing life-threatening complications from COVID-19. Cincinnati Home Dialysis strongly urges our home dialysis patients to talk their care team about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
Unlike your annual flu shot and many other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain an inactivated form of the virus. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines – a modern medical technology that uses a tiny snippet of genetic code to show your immune system how to recognize and respond to a new invader. Think of the mRNA as a trainer sent to teach your body how to fight COVID-19 by producing antibodies.
This is the first time mRNA has been approved for use in a vaccine, but researchers have been studying mRNA for decades as a possible treatment for certain cancers and other diseases.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for home dialysis patients?
The COVID-19 vaccine trials included participants with comorbid conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. While there isn’t much information available yet on the efficacy of the vaccine for dialysis patients, we believe the potential complications of contracting COVID-19 to be far more severe than the potential complications of getting vaccinated for most patients.
Who can help me make an informed decision about vaccination?
Your care team can help you weigh the pros and cons of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s especially important to make this decision with your doctor if you’ve previously had a reaction to a vaccine. They’ll be able to tell you if any components of the COVID-19 vaccine might pose a risk based on prior reactions you’ve had and your overall state of well-being.
I’m ready to get vaccinated! Where do I go?
Each state has their own vaccine rollout plan, and each county’s health departments have their own processes for distribution. Here’s what we know for the regions we serve.
Hamilton County residents can register online to get vaccinated. Registrants will be contacted by county officials when you’re eligible.
Butler County residents can fill out a survey that’s being used to help evaluate the demand for shots in the area. Filling out their survey does not register you for the vaccine.
Clermont County residents considered part of phase 1B (those over 65 with severe, congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders) can fill out this online form to get on the vaccination waiting list. Kidney disease patients are considered part of this vaccination phase.
Warren County residents who fall under phase 1A or phase 1B (this includes kidney disease patients) can fill out a form expressing interest in receiving the vaccine. The county will contact survey respondents with instructions when more vaccines become available.
Indiana is currently vaccinating individuals 70 years of age and older. If this applies to you, you can sign up with this state-wide tool. Dearborn County Local Health Department is administering vaccines at its Lawrenceburg clinic. Check back at Indiana’s vaccine information and planning page to see when new populations are eligible for vaccination.
Information about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine evolves quickly, so be sure to check with your county’s health department for the latest information.