Kidney charities call for dialysis and transplant patients to be priority for COVID vaccine


Kidney Wales, together with Kidney Care UK and Paul Popham Fund, have joined forces to call on the Welsh Health Minister to prioritise dialysis and transplant patients for the COVID vaccine.


The Renal Association, British Renal Society, British Transplantation Society, Kidney Care UK and the National Kidney Federation, published a joint statement which reveals alarming statistics about COVID risk for people with kidney disease, prompting urgent calls they should be prioritised for vaccination.


So far, 662 of 20,000 dialysis patients have succumbed to the infection, equivalent to one in 30 kidney dialysis patients has died of coronavirus.

Another 564 people who received kidney transplants have also lost their lives to coronavirus, bringing the overall death toll among those with serious renal problems to more than 1,200.

Following the publication of the joint statement, the three leading Welsh charities wrote to the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services to recommend:


  • a priority focus on vaccination of patients receiving In Centre Haemo Dialysis (ICHD) followed by all other renal patients who classify as CEV. Those on home dialysis, renal transplant recipients and CKD 5 are the next priority groups
  • all patient-facing staff working in kidney care should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccination (including those who work in commercially run dialysis units and are therefore not directly employed by the NHS)
  • accurate and timely patient education, reassurance and information, including translated material or video information for those where English is not their first language is available to patients and their families or carers about the benefits of vaccination
  • systems are urgently put in place to vaccinate patients in renal units, including a log recording administration and subsequent COVID-19 antibody testing to assess response
  • joint working with laboratory scientists and methodologists is supported to quantify the efficacy of COVID19 vaccination and establish a programme to identify the optimum vaccination strategy for people with kidney disease
  • continued collaboration with scientific partners and industry is maintained to develop alternative therapies for COVID-19 for any renal patients who do not respond to the initial vaccination programme.


One quote said “There are 56,000 people in the UK who are either on dialysis or who have had a transplant.   They have been hit hard by COVID.  We need to protect them now we have a vaccine.  Half of those on dialysis are 40 or under and may have young families.  It’s a fact a man or woman under 40 on dialysis is more than four times likely to die of COVID than a man of 80.  We want these patients to be bought up to the highest vaccination prioritisation group as their risk is the same as – if not higher – than people in nursing homes”.



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