COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduce infection risk for dialysis patients: Study

Hyderabad: A COVID-19 study has shown that infections, hospitalisations, and mortality were all significantly reduced among people who had taken at least one dose of the vaccine. The study also makes a strong statement for anti-vaccine people to understand how important taking the COVID-19 vaccines are in the fight against the ongoing pandemic.

The study was conducted by NephroPlus to simplify the complexities and understand the impact of COVID-19 on dialysis patients and the benefits of vaccination. The study published in the international Nephrology Journal, Kidney International Reports, bridges the gap between speculation and scientific fact, said a statement from NephroPlus on Thursday.

According to the study, during the first COVID-19 wave, 14,573 dialysis patients were studied. Out of the number infected with COVID-19, 99% were hospitalised for an average of 12 days and the mortality rate stood at 23%. Besides this, the ripple effect on dialysis patients not infected with COVID-19 is also massive, said the study from NephroPlus.

“Government take-over and conversion of dialysis centres to COVID centres also greatly affected treatment and discouraged patients from attending dialysis sessions. This resulted in an increase in mortality among the dialysis population within the period from 15% in 2019 to 20% in 2020,” said the release from NephroPlus.

Principal investigator Dr. Vivekanand Jha, said, “We found that those patients on dialysis who had taken even one dose of the vaccine had as much as 33% reduced risk of getting COVID infection compared to those who were not vaccinated. More notable was the halving of the risk of death, even if they got COVID-19,” he said.

Dr Jha further added that the COVID-19 infection among patients on dialysis was 20-fold greater than that reported in the general population. Kamal D Shah, co-founder, NephroPlus, and a co-author of the study said, “It is very important for dialysis patients to know that they have a high risk of contracting this lethal virus and die if they don’t take the vaccine.”

The study further sampled 17,662 patients in the second wave. 1,111 of the screened patients were infected with COVID-19 and staggering mortality of 32.76% was observed amongst these patients. It brings the magnitude and severity of COVID-19, especially on patients undergoing dialysi

NephroPlus also studied vaccination and the rate of infections, hospitalisations, and mortality among vaccinated patients across India, with findings showing that vaccines are truly effective against COVID-19, the statement added.