The UK Kidney Association (UKKA) welcomes the announcement by the JCVI recommending a third dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in kidney patients who are receiving immunosuppression treatment. This decision is a response to extensive scientific data showing that many of these kidney patients have a sub-optimal response to two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
International studies have shown that a third dose of an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna can boost the immune response in these patients and may then offer more protection against COVID-19. The UKKA is committed to working across the kidney community to ensure patients and health care professionals are aware of the benefits of a third vaccine dose and that patients are encouraged and supported to access a third vaccine dose.
The UKKA remains concerned that there are also data showing that other groups of kidney patients, such as some of those receiving haemodialysis, also have a suboptimal response to two doses of COVID vaccine. In particular, response may be suboptimal against the delta variant. We remain concerned that this may also be the case for some peritoneal dialysis patients and some patients in stage 5 chronic kidney disease not yet receiving dialysis. Ongoing clinical data show that these groups of kidney patients remain at significantly increased risk of poor outcomes following COVID-19 infection.
The safety of all vulnerable kidney patients remains a concern with ongoing cases in the community and a strong likelihood of an increase in case numbers through autumn and winter. The UKKA remains committed to working with partners to prioritising and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable patients.