Press release

American Kidney Fund Applauds White House Decision to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines Directly to ESRD Patients at Dialysis Clinics

ROCKVILLE, Md. (March 25, 2021) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today issues the following statement in response to the Biden-Harris administration's announcement that COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed directly to end-stage renal disease (ESRD, or kidney failure) patients at dialysis clinics:

"On behalf of the 555,000 Americans who rely on dialysis to survive, AKF is grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for announcing its plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines directly to ESRD patients at the nation's dialysis clinics. AKF recently met with Congressional and Biden-Harris administration officials to recommend this action. Vaccine distribution for ESRD patients at dialysis clinics will be a major step forward in protecting people with kidney failure from COVID-19 and in addressing disparities in our health care system that disproportionately impact the kidney patient community.

"Dialysis patients have shouldered an incredibly heavy burden in the pandemic. A recent study found that 20% of people on dialysis who developed COVID-19 died from the infection. Most patients have been unable to socially distance, going to clinics three times each week to receive their life-sustaining treatment. This is also an issue of health equity.  Kidney failure disproportionately impacts people of color, and the pandemic has devastated these communities. Dialysis providers routinely vaccinate their patients against influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis B, and they are equipped to vaccinate against COVID-19. We need to protect our nation's dialysis patients from this pandemic as soon as possible, and this decision by the Biden-Harris administration will help accomplish that goal.

"We can't be more clear — federal vaccine allocation for ESRD patients at dialysis clinics will save lives. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for its commitment to health equity and in prioritizing the distribution of the vaccine to get it immediately to the populations that most need it, including frontline workers and those with kidney failure."

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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