Fresenius Medical Care has made its own dialysis clinics available for the vaccination of its patients against COVID-19.
Dialysis patients are an especially high-risk group due to the fact they are on average, over the age of 65, and often have other diseases as well as weakened immune systems. As such, this group of patients have a significantly higher mortality risk when suffering from COVID-19.
Medical personnel in Fresenius Medical Care dialysis clinics regularly vaccinate patients against influenza, hepatitis B and pneumococci, and the company is already vaccinating against COVID-19 in several countries including Portugal and the USA. About 90% of all patients needing dialysis visit a dialysis clinic several times weekly for treatment.
In Europe specifically, Fresenius Medical Care and other dialysis providers have been vaccinating patients in Portugal under a plan, authorised by the country’s government, that ensures the proper storage and safe administration of the vaccines. The first patients were vaccinated in late January, and almost all Fresenius Medical Care patients in Portugal have since received their second and final dose of the vaccine.
Katarzyna Mazur-Hofsäß, Fresenius Medical Care’s chief executive officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Social distancing and self-isolation are practically impossible for dialysis patients. In our dialysis clinics we can quickly and professionally vaccinate them against COVID-19 and effectively protect them.
“This can save many lives. We have the infrastructure and the medical expertise and are happy to make both available to speed vaccination campaigns. We would gladly expand this successful model, in close cooperation with the health authorities, to other countries where we treat dialysis patients.”
Fresenius Medical Care treats more than 66,000 patients in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region, in over 800 dialysis clinics across some 30 countries.