The medical community widely applauded the national vaccine rollout to dialysis patients, and Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) has worked to remain ahead the curve when it comes to educating patients and employees about the importance of being vaccinated.
When COVID-19 began rapidly spreading in early 2020, there were no vaccines or treatments available to defend against this novel virus. Fast forward to today, and some treatments are available to help those who have been affected by COVID-19, along with several effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19 and that have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use.
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found there is strong evidence to suggest that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections among frontline healthcare personnel, first responders, and other essential workers, offering hope and positive news about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC study results showed that the first dose of the vaccine reduced infection risk by 80 percent or more after two or more weeks and a second dose of the vaccine (which is the recommended number of doses) reduced the risk of infection by 90 percent within two or more weeks after the second inoculation.
“To date, we've received and distributed more than 76,000 doses of vaccine and more than 171,000 patients and staff have been fully vaccinated in the FMCNA community,” says Dr. Robert Kossmann, Chief Medical Officer for FMCNA. “This has been achieved through local, state, and federal collaboration. This is great news at a critical time.”
On March 25, when the Biden administration announced a federal initiative to partner with dialysis centers to provide COVID-19 vaccination, FMCNA commended the White House for this decision knowing its major impact in protecting patients from this virus while also easily and quickly allowing a vulnerable population in the United States to get vaccinated. Patients would be spared from having to go through complicated scheduling systems or traveling lengthy distances to receive the vaccine. FMCNA also became a designated central point of distribution for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to dialysis centers across the country.
FMCNA has strong confidence in the Pfizer vaccine and continues to educate all staff and patients about the safety and benefits of receiving the vaccine immediately when it is offered to them. And the results are paying off, with a reduction in cases across dialysis centers nationwide.
“We have seen an overall decrease in the number of new COVID-19 infections among Fresenius Kidney Care patients and this is directly correlated to our vaccine efforts,” said Dr. Kossmann. “We have to continue building on our vaccination successes and we know that the available vaccines are effective. The more we vaccinate, the more lives we protect, the more lives we save.”
To stay up to date on the latest news, education, and data regarding the pandemic please please visit FMCNA’s COVID-19 resource page.
To hear a behind-the-scenes discussion about the efforts to forge a one-of-a-kind partnership with the federal government to procure and distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to dialysis centers across the country, please check out this special episode of our Field Notes podcast.