With the release of the new COVID-19 vaccines come feelings of hope and relief, along with a few questions. Considering all of the new information being distributed, it is understandable that some of us may feel overwhelmed, especially those of us who are most vulnerable to the virus.
NephCure International, a non-profit organization focused on kidney disease, has published a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) discussing the COVID-19 vaccines and how they relate to kidney patients.
The information within this publication is specifically for:
- People with Chronic Kidney Disease, Including Nephrotic Syndrome and Related Protein Spilling Conditions
- People on Dialysis
- Post-Transplant Kidney Patients
Here are some of the highlighted questions.
1) Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect the kidneys?
There is no evidence to suggest the COVID-19 vaccine will directly affect your kidneys. The COVID-19 vaccine trains your immune system to fight against any future COVID-19 infection. Vaccines train your immune system to fight disease.
2) Should rare kidney disease patients get the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you have chronic kidney disease at any stage or have received an organ transplant, you are at an increased risk for complications from the COVID-19 virus. As with any vaccine, you have the choice to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly encourage you to have a conversation with your doctor to decide if the vaccine is right for you and your condition.
3) Will the COVID-19 vaccine trigger relapse in Nephrotic Syndrome and other protein-spilling disease patients?
This is unknown. Just like other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine creates an immune response which has the possibility of triggering a relapse. As more protein-spilling kidney disease patients get vaccinated, data will reveal the effects of the vaccine. However, we encourage you to talk to your doctor to see if the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the potential for a relapse. While the causes of Nephrotic Syndrome relapses are sometimes hard to trace, it is recommended that after you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you monitor any symptoms and regularly check your urine protein with dipsticks for several days afterward. It is important for anyone, regardless of whether you get the COVID-19 vaccine or not, to maintain frequent handwashing, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid large crowds. We strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether getting the vaccine is right for you and your condition.
Read and download the full list of COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Kidney Disease Patients here.