COVID-19 Vaccines & Kidney Disease: What You Should Know

At least three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Naturally, people with kidney disease or a kidney transplant are eager to know if these vaccines are safe to take – especially after living at higher risk for coronavirus-related complications for over a year.

Here at KidneySPA, we want to educate our patients, physician partners, and the public with up-to-date insights on COVID-19 vaccines and kidney issues from leading authorities, such as the American Kidney Fund and National Kidney Foundation. Before making any decisions about vaccination, though, it’s important to speak to your physician.

You may be wondering if COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people who:

  • Are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Undergo dialysis on a regular basis
  • Take immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplants

All of these populations are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19, and while guidance specific to kidney disease doesn’t exist yet, clinical vaccine trials did include people with other chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, asthma and HIV.

The results showed that COVID-19 vaccines can be safely given to people with any of those conditions, which is an encouraging sign. In the case of transplant recipients, vaccines that don’t involve a living virus – such as Pfizer and Moderna – are expected to be safe unless the recipient has other mitigating health issues.

Remember, even after you are fully vaccinated and free from side effects, you should still take precautions if you suffer from chronic kidney disease or participated in a kidney transplant. That means continuing to socially distance, avoid crowds, wear a mask, regularly wash your hands and more.

Why? Because while a vaccine significantly reduces your risk of contracting COVID-19, it can’t fully eliminate it. Please continue to protect yourself, and if you want to know more about getting vaccinated, contact your physician for personalized insights, or schedule a consultation with a KidneySPA specialist to get all your questions answered.

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