An unprecedented collaboration between the White House, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Society of Nephrology, and dialysis organizations across the United States resulted in this historic action.
"The Administration is announcing a new partnership with dialysis clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to people receiving dialysis and health care personnel in outpatient dialysis clinics," the White House wrote in fact sheet detailing an array of efforts designed to "expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and build vaccine confidence in hardest-hit and highest-risk communities."
"ASN has been urgently advocating for this decisive action designed to get the vaccine into the arms of one of the most vulnerable groups of people--Americans with kidney failure receiving dialysis--who now will be able to receive the vaccine directly in their dialysis facilities when and where they receive treatment," said Susan E. Quaggin, MD, FASN, ASN President. "Our patients deserve nothing less, and I sincerely thank President Biden, the White House, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recognizing this reality."
ASN led a community letter of 45 organizations to the Biden Administration in February highlighting the fact that kidney diseases disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities, with 53% of patients on dialysis are Black, African American, Hispanic, or Latino. Today' announcement emphasizes the Administration's efforts to expand access to vaccines and better serve minoritized communities, rural areas, low-income populations, and others underserved in the nation's COVID-19 response.
People on dialysis who contract COVID-19 often have severe health outcomes and have a 50% hospitalization rate and a mortality rate between 20-30% from COVID-19. These factors underscore the Administration's decision to provide vaccines directly to dialysis treatment centers so patients who typically go three times a week for treatment are able to get vaccinated at their place of care.
"We greatly appreciate the announcement from the White House that will provide an allocation of vaccines to patients with kidney diseases treated by dialysis," wrote Jeffrey Silberzweig, MD, and Alan S. Kliger, MD, the ASN COVID-19 Response Team Co-Chairs. "This achievement was accomplished through an unprecedented collaboration among the White House, CDC, ASN, and dialysis organizations across the United States. We welcome the opportunity to offer vaccination to patients who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and its effects and the staff who have cared for them heroically throughout the pandemic."