NKF will present an 8am PST January 11, 2021 program on COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar and Facebook Live: What Kidney Patients Need to Know about the COVID-19 Vaccine. Find details and register at https://www.kidney.org/content/flu-covid-19-webinar-facebook-live.
ASN, AAKP, AKF, ANNA, CDC, NANT, NKF, RPA, and the Renal Healthcare Association (formerly the NRAA) are collaborating to sponsor a January 7, 2021 webinar on Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dialysis Population. Webinar topics will include available information about the safety and efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers and patients with CKD, the risk of poor outcomes in those contracting COVID-19, the position of the sponsors on urging dialysis patients to get vaccinated, possible concerns about receiving the vaccine, approaches to discussing and defusing those concerns, and a strategy to share the provided information widely. Find more information and register at https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1416384&tp_key=2914871054.
CDC says that during administration of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, “appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event that an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine providers should observe patients with a history of anaphylaxis (due to any cause) for 30 minutes after vaccination. All other persons should be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination to monitor for the occurrence of immediate adverse reactions.” See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/clinical-considerations.html for a full description of all CDC recommendations around the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, including triage and adverse reaction reporting instructions near the bottom of the web page.
CDC reports that the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated every year, and has begun a campaign to encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine, especially those with weakened immune systems like CKD patients, who have an increased risk of severe illness from the flu, even without considering COVID-19 – which you can get along with the flu. Find campaign resources like the animation below, in English and Spanish, at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/freeresources/graphics/animated-fight-flu-punch.htm .
NKF will present an October 6, 2020 webinar on Flu & COVID-19 – how to tell them apart, whether you can have both at the same time, increased risk of serious illness with CKD, how to protect yourself, and Q&A. Find details at https://www.kidney.org/content/flu-covid-19-webinar-facebook-live, and register at https://kidney.secure.force.com/rc_connect__campaign_designform?id=7013a000002DtitAAC&form=00P3a00001XCi6zEAD&. NKF also has a Q&A-format web page on Flu & COVID-19. Find it at https://www.kidney.org/coronavirus/flu-covid-19.
Resources for [Medicare-Medicaid] Integrated Care will also present an October 13, 2020 webinar on Promising Practices for Promoting Flu Vaccinations for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries During COVID-19. Dually-eligible patients are those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, who may be even more vulnerable to serious illness from flu and COVID-19. Find details and register at https://www.resourcesforintegratedcare.com/2020_Webinar/Promoting_Flu_Vaccinations_During_COVID-19.
CDC has published (non-COVID-19) flu vaccine recommendations for the 2020-2021 season. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illness, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. Find the 2020-2021 recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/summary/summary-recommendations.htm. Also available in Spanish and eight other languages.*
Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season and additional flu shots if medically necessary. Flu shots are free for Medicare patients. Pneumonia and flu shots can be given during the same office visit; find recommended schedules at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html.
CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all U.S. health care workers get annual flu shots.
Find More Information at:
- CMS Flu Shot webpage for providers – https://www.cms.gov/flu-provider.
- CDC Flu website (for everyone) – https://www.cdc.gov/FLU/. Also available in Spanish and eight other languages.*
- CDC Flu Information for Health Professionals – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/index.htm. Also available in Spanish.*
- CDC Fight Flu Toolkit – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/prepare-practice-tools.htm. Also available in Spanish and eight other languages.*
- HHS Vaccines.gov website – https://www.vaccines.gov/. Also available in Spanish.*
* To find the non-English versions, go to the links above, then click on “Español” or “Other Languages” – these links are either in the upper right corner of the page, or between the title and the text of the document.
CDC has published their recommendations for influenza vaccinations, suggesting that reducing seasonal influenza will help avoid confusion with pandemic COVID-19, and help relieve pressure on overloaded healthcare facilities. Find the recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6908a1.htm?s_cid=rr6908a1_e&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM35682.
ESRD Networks 16 and 18 have prepared their Summer 2020 patient newsletters. Major articles and sidebars for summer include:
- COVID-19: a New World for Dialysis Patients.
- Telehealth: How to connect virtually with your healthcare providers.
- Are you up to date on all your vaccines?
- How to Report Patient Grievances.
- How to Get Our Newsletter! and Join Our Blog!
- Introduction to The KidneyHub.org Mobile Tool (Network 16).
- Invitation to Get Involved! in helping the Network improve patient care (Network 18).
Find Network 16 patient newsletters, in English and Spanish, at https://nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/quarterly-patient-newsletter.html.
Find Network 18 patient newsletters, in English and Spanish, at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/patients/newsletters/.
We’ve published our Patient Newsletters for Winter 2020. They feature articles on treatment options, flu shots, grievances, access to care, how to stay informed by the Network, and how to help the Network improve patient care. Find them at:
- Network 16 in Spanish: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N2/Win2020NW16PNLEsp.PDF.
CDC has issued a HAN Health Advisory on Elevated Influenza Activity: Influenza B/Victoria and A(H1N1)pdm09 Viruses are the Predominant Viruses, summarized by:
“This health advisory notifies clinicians that influenza activity remains high in the United States. Ongoing elevated activity is due to influenza B/Victoria viruses, increasing circulation of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, and low levels of influenza B/Yamagata and influenza A(H3N2) viruses. CDC’s influenza forecasts suggest that national influenza activity will remain elevated for several more weeks. Because influenza activity is elevated and both influenza A and B virus infections can cause severe disease and death, this health advisory also serves as a reminder that early treatment with antiviral medications improves outcomes in patients with influenza. Early treatment with antiviral medications is recommended for hospitalized patients and high-risk outpatients… Clinicians should continue efforts to vaccinate patients for as long as influenza viruses are circulating, and promptly start antiviral treatment of severely ill and high-risk patients with suspected influenza without waiting for laboratory confirmation.”
Find the full HAN at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00425.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM17072.