Clarification on kidney patients who are eligible for the third primary dose or booster COVID-19 vaccination is now available.
Further to their recommendations on third primary vaccination, the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has now recommended a booster vaccine dose for patient groups that include patients on dialysis and CKD 3-5 patients not on dialysis. The renal patient groups for a third primary vaccination or booster vaccination are as follows:
JCVI advises a preference for an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer/Moderna) for the third primary dose where possible - regardless of previous vaccines - as laboratory studies indicate these offer better protection in kidney patients.
The UK Kidney Association (UKKA) will continue to make the strong case that a third vaccination for dialysis patients should be considered a third primary vaccination rather than a booster vaccination.
The JVCI has requested that specialists provide clear advice to GPs regarding:
Patients will be contacted by their renal team, dialysis unit, or GP to arrange a time for administering either the third dose or booster vaccine. For further information we advise patients to contact their renal team or GP directly.
Whilst this is reassuring for kidney transplant patients, we await further advice for those on dialysis or with advanced kidney disease who remain highly vulnerable and may be at risk of being left behind in the vaccine programme.
The vaccine efficacy research study that we helping to fund together with our charity partners (kidney Research Uk, the National Kidney Federation, Kidney Wales, and several Kidney Patient Associations) will monitor the impact of third doses for at-risk kidney patients. Further research is being carried out through the OCTAVE DUO study to establish the immune efficacy of third doses in a wider group of patients, including people on dialysis. Using the evidence from both of these studies we will continue our efforts to help highlight the specific needs of the kidney community to ensure the best outcomes for patients and their families.