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 nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million 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. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.