Vaccines -  Information & Education sources for renal patients

January 19 2021
The NHS is recommending renal patients accept the offer of a vaccine against COVID-19. Those patients in care homes, over 80, or who are frontline health and social care workers may have already been amongst the more than 18 million people who have already received the vaccine (as of 24th February 2021). For those yet to receive a vaccine, you may have questions.
Dr Popoola co-hosted a national update via Zoom on the 26th January at 5pm. This event for all renal patients, relatives, carers and supporters was free. We have also added links to useful information sources.

‘When will I be offered my Covid vaccine?’ ‘Have kidney patients had any side effects from the vaccine?’ ‘What should I be doing to keep myself safe after I’ve had the vaccine?’ ‘Should I continue to shield? ‘What should my family members be doing to keep me safe?’

As part of our webinar question time series on Covid-19 and kidney patients, Kidney Care UK, the Renal Association and the British Renal Society invited you to join this free Zoom webinar for patients, carers and healthcare professionals on the topic of Covid-19 and vaccination. This event was at 5pm on Tuesday 26 January. The fact that we now have Covid-19 vaccines is very important to all of us.

Details can be found on the Kidney Care UK website.


Information about the COVID-19 vaccine

Kidney Care UK have also provided information on vaccines for renal patients here, with a comprehensive Q&A.

They also provided links to other sources:

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have published information about its approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, including information for the recipient of the vaccine, and the Pfizer vaccine, including updated information on allergies, pregnancy and dosage intervals.

NHS information: the NHS have published a hub for information about the vaccine.

Vaccines and allergic reactions: The MHRA have published advice about the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and people with a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis ). This advice was recently updated so that anyone with a previous history of allergic reactions to the ingredients of the vaccine should not receive it, but those with any other allergies such as a food allergy can now have the vaccine.

Vaccine information in languages other than English: The BBC have published information about the vaccine in Urdu, Punjabi, Gujurati, Sylheti and Tamil.

The British Islamic Medical Association have published a statement, supported by the Muslim Council of Britain, recommending the Pfizer Covid vaccine for eligible at-risk individuals in the Muslim Community. They also recommend the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for eligible individuals in Muslim communities. The British Board of Scholars and Imams have produced a helpful and informative top ten summary of questions and answers on vaccines.

The Cameroonian Doctors Association held a very informative webinar about Covid-19 and vaccines, with speakers including Dr Elvis Ngassa, a transplant surgeon at the Royal London hospital.

The Renal Association and British Renal Society have published a statement on Covid vaccines for kidney patients. This recommends that people receiving dialysis in a hospital or unit should be a priority group for receiving the vaccine. It also calls for joint work with scientists to measure how effective the Covid vaccine is for kidney patients, identify the best vaccination strategy for them, and to develop alternative therapies for any kidney patients who do not respond to the initial vaccination programme.

A briefing document on Covid-19 vaccination which is written for professionals working in the renal community has been published. A set of frequently asked questions , similar to those described below, has been sent out to kidney units.

The British Transplant Society, which represents professionals involved in transplantation in the UK, have published a statement supporting Covid-19 vaccination for people with transplants and those on the transplant waiting list (updated 6th January). It states that whilst solid organ transplant recipients were not included in clinical trials, given experience with other vaccinations, there is no evidence to suggest that any of the available vaccinations for COVID-19 would not be safe and protective in this group of patients.

The Government have published information on what to expect after your Covid vaccination. There is a guide for older people and one for the general population.


Flu & Pneumonia vaccines

Winter Flu vaccination programme

It is highly recommended that kidney patients have a flu vaccination to avoid seasonal flu. The winter flu vaccination programme includes

  • People who were on the shielding list and their households
  • All school year groups up to Year 7
  • People aged over 65, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under 2s
  • People aged 50 - 64 later in the year

The NHS will contact people directly, including information about where to go to get the vaccine. Kidney Care UK has information on keeping well this winter, including flu vaccination.

Pneumonia vaccination

It is recommended that renal patients (Chronic Kidney Disease) receive a pneumonia vaccination every 5 years. Check you are up to date.


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