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STAT News

Dialysis clinics should be able to vaccinate their patients on site

March 19, 2021

One year after Covid-19 was declared a national emergency in the United States, and with more than 525,000 Americans having lost their lives to it so far, the country is finally beginning to make progress toward getting a handle on this terrible pandemic, thanks to the distribution of several highly effective vaccines.

The vaccine distribution system seems to be working, despite considerable obstacles. We see it in the way that long-term care residents and staff, who were particularly hard hit over the past year, are experiencing falling infection and mortality rates that dovetail with extensive vaccination efforts. The success within the nation’s long-term care community after a challenging start is largely due to a partnership among stakeholders and the federal government that ensured appropriate allocation of vaccines — and end-to-end support — to protect vulnerable Americans in these facilities.

It’s now time to do the same for another of the nation’s most at-risk groups: Americans living with kidney failure who rely upon life-sustaining dialysis treatments. Policymakers need to work with the nation’s dialysis providers to get this done.

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