NEW research has found two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine do not offer sufficient protection for certain kidney failure patients.
Carried out by the Scottish Renal Registry (SRR), the study states that those on dialysis or who have received a kidney transplant following kidney failure still face a high risk of death even if they are double jabbed.
People in this category are being urged to take up their third, and potentially fourth, dose as soon as possible.
Current data shows that only around 85% of applicable patients have taken their third jag, compared to 93% for second doses in the same group.
It is known that patients on dialysis or with a kidney transplant have a weakened immune system and therefore have a substantially increased risk of death after infection with Covid-19 compared to the general population.
The University of Dundee’s Dr Samira Bell, who led the research as Chair of the SRR, said: “We examined the effect of two doses of Covid-19 vaccines in patients on dialysis and with a transplant in Scotland by using linkage of real-world data for the entire Scottish population of patients.
“Our aim was to establish the effect of two doses on rates of infection and patient outcomes such as death and hospitalisation.
“Our work shows that whilst outcomes following two doses of Covid-19 vaccine are improved, there is still a nine percent risk of death following infection in this patient group. This highlights the urgent need for a third dose of vaccine.”
In the case of kidney transplant patients in Scotland, a fourth dose is being offered.
This is because a third dose is treated differently to a booster for these patients, and helps increase the level of protection for those who may not have generated a full immune response following their first two doses.
Dr Bell added: “I strongly recommend that any patients on dialysis or with a kidney transplant ensure they receive a full course of vaccination including a third dose, and a fourth dose in the case of kidney transplant patients.
“Please contact NHS Inform or your local renal unit if you are unsure whether you are eligible.”
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director for Public Health Scotland added: “Research like this is critical in helping us refine our future immunisation strategy for Scotland so that we make sure the needs of all groups in the population receive the right level of protection.”