The past one year has been a difficult time for everyone more so for patients with an underlying chronic disease such as chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease patients often have other associated disease such as diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease. Often having multiple comorbidities, this population also includes patients on maintenance dialysis as well as those who have undergone a kidney transplant. One can understand that such patients would be at high risk of developing severe covid disease if they get exposed to the covid virus.
The development of vaccines against covid has been a boon for all people and more so for patients with chronic kidney disease. However, inspite of the availability of the covid vaccine there is a fear as well as a lack of knowledge about the suitability of the vaccine for chronic kidney disease patients.
The vaccines available in India are inactivated or killed virus vaccines and hence are safe for this population of patients. All patients of kidney disease should undergo covid vaccination even if they are on maintenance hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis and this will greatly reduce their risk of developing severe covid disease. The post transplant patients are a special case as they are on medications to reduce their body immunity. In the post renal transplant patients also, covid vaccination is recommended but one to six months after the transplant and the right time for vaccination would be decided on a case to case basis by the treating nephrologist. Whether one takes covaxin or covidsheild does not matter as both are inactivated or killed virus vaccines and both have been proven to be effective in clinical trials.
It is hoped that covid vaccination of all patients with chronic kidney patients would go a long way in reducing their risk of developing severe and life threatening covid disease. It is important to add that even after covid vaccination general precautions such as social distancing, use of face masks as well as regular use of hand sanitizers should be practiced to further reduce the risk of covid disease.