WEDNESDAY, May 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Twenty percent of patients on hemodialysis are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study published online April 29 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Pablo Garcia, M.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a nationwide vaccine acceptability survey with the goal of identifying strategies to increase vaccine uptake among patients on hemodialysis. Data were included from 1,515 respondents.

The researchers found that even if the vaccine was considered safe for the general population, 20 percent of all responders and 29 percent of both patients aged 18 to 44 years and Black responders were hesitant to seek the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients aged 18 to 44 years (versus 45 to 64 years), Black patients (versus non-Hispanic Whites), Native Americans or Pacific Islanders (versus non-Hispanic Whites), and women (versus men) had higher odds of vaccine hesitancy (odds ratios, 1.5, 1.9, 2.0, and 1.6, respectively). Of the vaccine-hesitant patients, 53 percent expressed concerns about its side effects. The most common sources of information were television and dialysis staff (68 and 38 percent, respectively).

“Outreach efforts need to be targeted to these groups,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Younger age groups, while less susceptible to serious illness, will come in close contact with older people since they will go to shared facilities multiple times per week for dialysis, so outreach and high vaccine acceptability is crucial for this age group as well.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and health care industries.

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