The impact of vaccination on incidence and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with kidney failure in Scotland


Patients with kidney failure requiring kidney replacement therapy (KRT) are at high risk of complications and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection with variable antibody responses to vaccination reported. We investigated the effects of COVID-19 vaccination on incidence of infection, hospitalization and death of COVID-19 infection.

Study design was an observational data linkage cohort study. Multiple healthcare datasets were linked to ascertain all SARS-CoV-2 testing, vaccination, hospitalization, and mortality data for all patients treated with KRT in Scotland, from the start of the pandemic over a period of 20 months. Descriptive statistics, survival analyses, and vaccine effectiveness were calculated.

As of 19th September 2021, 93% (n=5281) of the established KRT population in Scotland had received two doses of an approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Over the study period, there were 814 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection (15.1% of the KRT population). Vaccine effectiveness against infection and hospitalization was 33% (95% CI 0-52) and 38% (95% CI 0-57) respectively. 9.2% of fully vaccinated individuals died within 28 days of a SARS-CoV-2 positive PCR test (7% dialysis patients and 10% kidney transplant recipients). This compares to <0.1% of the vaccinated Scottish population being admitted to hospital or dying death due to COVID19 during that period.

These data demonstrate a primary vaccine course of two doses has limited impact on COVID-19 infection and its complications in patients treated with KRT. Adjunctive strategies to reduce risk of both COVID-19 infection and its complications in this population are urgently required.

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