Dialysis patients who received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines had a lower risk of COVID-19 diagnosis post-vaccination and were less likely to be hospitalized or die following breakthrough infection than unvaccinated patients, according to a DaVita Clinical Research (DCR) study published online ahead of print by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
“This is the first large study aimed at understanding the clinical effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in this highly vulnerable patient population,” said Dr. Steven Brunelli, MCSE, vice president for DCR. “Our observations provide reassurance that COVID-19 mRNA vaccination is an effective clinical strategy to help protect these patients from COVID-19 and from associated hospitalization and death.”
More than 500,000 Americans diagnosed with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) receive life-sustaining dialysis care. Despite being at high risk for COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions that compromise their immune systems, these patients were not represented in the Phase III clinical trials of BNT162b (Pfizer/BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
To assess COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in this patient population, researchers evaluated electronic health records of 35,206 DaVita dialysis patients vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines between Jan. 1 and Feb. 25, 2021. These patients were matched to unvaccinated controlled groups and followed over time to observe future COVID-19 infections and related clinical outcomes.
Researchers observed that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were 78% and 73% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, respectively. The study indicated that vaccinated dialysis patients who experienced a breakthrough COVID-19 infection were also less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 as compared to unvaccinated patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, among vaccinated dialysis patients, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in rates similar to those seen in the broader Phase III clinical trials.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCR has conducted several studies to better understand how the novel coronavirus behaves in medically vulnerable patients with ESKD. Related research efforts also include two prospective studies in ESKD patients: one investigating the influence of prior infection/ naturally acquired antibodies on the future risk of infection, and a second one (ongoing) studying the genetic basis for susceptibility to more severe cases of COVID-19.
To learn more about DaVita Clinical Research, visit DaVitaClinicalResearch.com.
About DaVita Clinical Research
DaVita Clinical Research (DCR), a wholly owned subsidiary of DaVita Inc., is the research arm of DaVita. DCR innovates through retrospective research aimed at improving clinical outcomes. DCR assists pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the design, recruitment and completion of clinical trials using its renal research site network. To learn more about DCR, visit DaVitaClinicalResearch.com.
About DaVita Inc.
DaVita (NYSE: DVA) is a health care provider focused on transforming care delivery to improve quality of life for patients globally. The company is one of the largest providers of kidney care services in the U.S. and has been a leader in clinical quality and innovation for more than 20 years. DaVita cares for patients at every stage and setting along their kidney health journey—from slowing the progression of kidney disease to helping to support transplantation, from acute hospital care to dialysis at home. As of September 30, 2021, DaVita served 203,000 patients at 2,822 outpatient dialysis centers in the United States. The company also operated 333 outpatient dialysis centers in ten countries worldwide. DaVita has reduced hospitalizations, improved mortality, and worked collaboratively to propel the kidney care industry to adopt an equitable and high-quality standard of care for all patients, everywhere.