WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients receiving hemodialysis who become infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), prior SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is associated with reduced risk of severe COVID-19, according to a study published online June 1 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Damien R. Ashby, from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, and colleagues conducted a multicenter observational study in a hemodialysis population during the period of vaccine rollout with BNT162b2 and AZD1222. SARS-CoV-2 infection was identified in 1,323 patients, including 79, 7, and 14 percent unvaccinated, after first-dose vaccination, and after second-dose vaccination, respectively.

The researchers found that most patients had a mild course, but 39 and 13 percent were hospitalized and died, respectively. Greater illness severity was seen in association with older age, diabetes, and immune suppression. Prior two-dose vaccination was associated with a 75 and 88 percent reduction in the risk of admission and in deaths, respectively, compared with unvaccinated patients after adjustment for age, comorbidity, and time period. In patients over 65 years or with increasing time since vaccination, there was no loss of protection; there was no difference observed between vaccine types.

“Vaccination is associated with a substantially lower risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in patients on hemodialysis with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the authors write. “These results support a policy of promoting and prioritizing vaccination in this vulnerable group.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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