Kidney Charities Together Group share latest information on COVID-19
The spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant is increasing rapidly throughout the UK and will soon become the dominant variant. There continues to be uncertainty around the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, but there are still steps we can take to be safe.
There is increasing evidence that people with kidney disease, who have been double vaccinated, are higher risk of hospitalisation or death compared to individuals in other groups in the general population who have also had two vaccines. This may include individuals with chronic kidney disease stage 4 onwards, those who are on dialysis, and those who are immunosuppressed.
Keeping up to date with your vaccinations is critical, but that does not offer complete protection, particularly against the Omicron variant. Because many kidney patients are at higher risk than those in the general population, additional precautions are critical.
Ways to stay safe
Get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu, according to the schedule recommended for your circumstances, and make sure everyone in your household does the same. This is the best way to protect yourself and if you do get infected, you are much less likely to develop serious disease, be admitted to hospital or die than if you are unvaccinated.
When your booster or your third primary dose and the following fourth dose booster (for immunosuppressed patients) is due, push for this to happen as soon as possible. This advice is the same for those waiting for a transplant or if you have received a transplant. If you know someone who has chronic kidney disease who is not yet fully vaccinated, encourage them to follow all the guidance on how to stay safe and to consider getting fully vaccinated in the light of the latest evidence.
Be extra vigilant. This is highly recommended over the next couple of weeks with so much uncertainty around the new Omicron variant and with an increased number of social gatherings over the festive period.
Follow the hands, face and space principles. Continue to wear a mask and encourage those around you to do the same. Socialise at quieter times of the day and meet in well-ventilated areas or where possible outdoors. Avoid crowds, try to maintain social distancing and work from home if you can. Wash your hands regularly and disinfect surfaces you touch frequently.
If you have any concerns, please talk to your kidney team or GP.