Patients receiving dialysis for severe kidney disease have less of an immune system response to COVID-19 vaccines than patients who aren’t receiving this treatment, a new study finds.
Researchers at a hospital in Taiwan compiled and analyzed findings from 32 different studies, including almost 5,000 patients on dialysis with late-stage kidney disease.
About 41 percent of the dialysis patients showed an immune response to the coronavirus after their first doses and 89 percent showed an immune response after their second doses.
These immune responses in dialysis patients were significantly lower than those in non-dialysis patients - but the difference was smaller after two doses, the researchers found.
The findings suggest that dialysis patients should be prioritized for third - and possibly even fourth - vaccine doses.
Patients receiving dialysis treatment have reduced immune responses to Covid vaccines, a new meta-analysis study found. Pictured: A senior receives dialysis treatment (file image)
Across several studies, dialysis patients had lower immune response rates to the Covid vaccines than patients who were not receiving this treatment
People with chronic kidney disease are at higher risk for severe Covid symptoms, hospitalization and death from the disease.
In particular, kidney disease patients on dialysis - a treatment that manually performs the kidney's function by filtering waste out of the body - have weakened immune systems.
Similarly, patients who have kidney transplants need to take drugs that suppress their immune systems, increasing their Covid risk.
In addition, weakened immune systems can also reduce a patient’s response to Covid vaccines.
As a result, many studies in the past year have examined what happens in these patients’ immune systems after they get vaccinated.
A new paper, published on Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, compiles the results from a number of these studies, focusing on dialysis patients.
Researchers at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan performed a systemic review and meta-analysis - analyzing combined data from multiple clinical trials.
To find these clinical studies, the researchers searched