Covid-19 vaccination and renal patients: overcoming unwarranted fears and re-establishing priorities

Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) has infected about 124 million people worldwide and the total amount of casualties now sits at a staggering 2.7 million. One enigmatic aspect of this disease is the protean nature of the clinical manifestations, ranging from total absence of symptoms to extremely severe cases with multiorgan failure and death.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has emerged as the primary risk factor in the most severe patients, apart from age. Kidney disease and acute kidney injury have been correlated with a higher risk of death. Notably the Italian Society of Nephrology have reported a 10-fold increase in mortality in patients undergoing dialysis compared to the rest of the population, especially during the second phase of the pandemic (26% vs 2.4). These dramatic numbers require an immediate response.

At the moment of writing, three Covid-19 vaccines are being administered already , two of which, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna,  share the same mrna mechanism and Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) based on a more traditional approach.  All of them are completely safe and reliable. The AIFA scientific commission has suggested that the mRNA vaccines should be administered to older and more fragile patients, while the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine should be reserved for younger subjects above the age of 18. The near future looks bright: there are tens of other vaccines undergoing clinical and preclinical validation, whose preliminary results look promising.

The high mortality of CKD and dialysis patients contracting Covid-19 should mandate top priority for their vaccination.

 

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), chronic kidney disease, vaccine

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Introduzione

L’infezione da SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) ha colpito circa 124 milioni di persone nel mondo e si contano a tutt’oggi circa 2.7 milioni di decessi. Una caratteristica ancora enigmatica di tale infezione è l’ampia gamma di manifestazioni cliniche che variano dalla pressoché totale assenza di sintomi a forme estremamente gravi con compromissione multiorgano dall’esito inesorabilmente fatale [1]. L’elevata frequenza di infezioni asintomatiche inoltre ha indubbiamente contribuito alla rapida diffusione mondiale di SARS-CoV-2. Il principale quesito clinico a cui dare una risposta resta quindi ancora strettamente legato alla individuazione precoce dei soggetti ad alto rischio di sviluppare malattia grave. Questi individui possono trarre particolare vantaggio dall’isolamento precauzionale e soprattutto essere un gruppo prioritario per la vaccinazione [1].

 

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