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Vaccine safe for kidney patients, says nephrologist

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Jammu: Dr Raju K Bhandari, Consultant Nephrologist at Super Specialty Hospital Jammu, has assured that all kinds of Covid vaccines are safe for kidney patients, including those having undergone recent renal transplant.

“Patients on steroids can take vaccines only once their dosage is below 20 mg levels. Those having been administered with Rituximab must wait for six months before getting vaccinated. Renal transplant patients can be administered the vaccine after six months after the transplant,” the doctor says.

According to an official press release, highlighting the risks involving kidney patients, Dr Bhandari said “at least 30 percent of Covid patients, with no prior kidney issues, develop varying degrees of urinary abnormalities, including Stage-III Acute Kidney Injury. Around 10 to 20 percent of such patients may require dialysis. Such patients have five times high morbidity than general Covid patients.”

Other priority groups for the health professionals are patients with prior kidney issues. Dr Bhandari says, “we pay special attention towards such patients as their recovery rate is little lesser than the normal patients — at 70 to 80 percent — and have high mortality ranging between 20 to 30 percent.”

“Another priority group includes renal transplant patients. Such patients are susceptible to develop severe Covid complications compounded by their multiple comorbidities and the immune-suppressing drugs being taken by them. While globally such patients have a mortality rate of 25 to 35 percent, thankfully the rate is a little less in India,” he informed.

Dr Bhandari advised healthy diet and exercise for kidney patients and reminds them to avoid Potassium rich foods like dry fruits, green leafy vegetables, coconut water and citrus fruits, etc. Patients are advised to seek clarifications from their doctor for more advice.

Detailing facilities being provided at government hospitals, Dr Bhandari informed, “Severe Covid patients are given dialysis in the High Dependency Unit at the GMC. Covid positive patients, with stable condition, requiring dialysis are given the facility at Government Gandhi Nagar Hospital. Non-Covid patients can get the dialysis facility at the Super Specialty Hospital Jammu.”

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