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Vaccinations

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Vaccinations for ESRD Patients

When you are on dialysis, you are at a higher risk of getting sick with diseases such as the flu, Hepatitis B, and pneumonia. Your best protection against these diseases is to receive a vaccination. Most dialysis facilities offer free vaccinations, or can work with you to find out where you can get them at little to no cost.

Influenza (flu)

Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is an acute virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu has symptoms similar to a cold: fever, aches and pains, weakness, coughing, and breathing problems. However, the flu can lead to pneumonia or death. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year.

The goal of the Increasing Vaccination Rates Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) is to achieve 85% of patients receiving the influenza vaccination.

About the flu vaccine: 

  • A flu shot is very safe, and will help protect you for the whole flu season (which can last from October through May). 
  • Get a flu shot early in the flu season to give it time to work.
  • Each year the flu virus changes, so you need a new flu shot every year—even if you had the flu last year.
  • A flu vaccine can also help to prevent pneumonia.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a serious liver infection caused by a virus. Since HBV is spread through contact with blood or body fluids, dialysis patients are at high risk. 

About the Hepatitis B vaccine:

  • The Hepatitis B vaccine is safe, effective, and your best protection against this disease.
  • Your doctor will test your blood to see if you need this vaccine. If you had Hepatitis B (and you may not know) you don’t need the vaccine.
  • A series of 3 or 4 Hepatitis B shots is needed to protect you. Some people may need additional doses.
  • In addition to preventing Hepatitis B, the Hepatitis B vaccine can also protect against a form of liver cancer.

Pneumonia and Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumonia is a lung infection. It can be caused by a virus, or by bacteria. Bacterial pneumonia can develop on its own or can develop after a severe cold or the flu. Pneumococcal disease kills more people in the United States than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined.

Pneumonia can cause:

  • High fever
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Bacteremia (bacteria in the blood)
  • Meningitis (brain infection)

About the Pneumonia (or Pneumococcal) vaccine:

  • There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines available for adults: PPSV23 and aPCV13.  
  • Adults with ESRD need to receive both vaccines initially, and then need to be re-vaccinated in five years. 
  • Getting a flu vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, but patients with ESRD need to receive BOTH the flu and pneumococcal vaccines. 
  • You cannot get pneumonia from the pneumococcal vaccine.

Additional Vaccination Information and Education:


CMS Memo: Clarifying PY 2020 Performance Period for ESRD QIP NHSN Personnel Influenza Vaccination Reporting Measure

As a part of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) PPS proposed rule released in May 2017, CMS proposes to correct the performance period for the NHSN Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Reporting Measure for Payment Year (PY) 2020.

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Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know

This is a fact sheet about hepatitis B. It provides what you need to know about it and why you should get vaccinated for it. 

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Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know - Spanish

This is a fact sheet about hepatitis B. What you need to know and why you should get vaccinated.

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No More Excuses - You Need the Flu Shot

This is a flyer that provides reasons you need to get vaccinated.

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Pneumococcal Disease: What You Need to Know

This CDC fact sheet provides consumers with information about why they need to get vaccinated for pneumonia.

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Pneumococcal Disease: What You Need to Know - Spanish

This Spanish language CDC fact sheet provides consumers with information about why individuals need to get vaccinated for pneumonia.

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Protect Yourself Vaccination Flyer (1 pager)

This one-page informational flyer highlights facts about the influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis B vaccines and why vaccines offer protection to dialysis patients.

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Protect Yourself Vaccination Flyer (2 pager)

This patient two-page flyer provides information about how vaccines help protect dialysis patients from getting sick and provides facts about the influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis B vaccines.

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Take 3 Actions to Fight the Flu

This CDC brochure encourages three everyday actions to prevent the spread of flu.

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To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Did you know that dialysis patients are more likely to develop infections than people
with healthy kidneys? If you have indicated that you would rather not receive the recommended vaccinations for people with kidney disease, this short checklist asks you to indicate why,

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Vaccination Best Demonstrated Practices

Review the Vaccination Best Demonstrated Practices with staff and post in an area visible to staff to promote effective vaccination processes in the facility. Implement the best practices as part of the facility’s vaccination plan.

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Vaccination Myth Busters (Spanish) NW 15

This one-pager, in Spanish, examines the myths and truths surrounding the Hepatitis B and Pneumonia vaccines.

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Vaccination Myth Busters NW 15

This one-pager examines the myths and truths surrounding the Hepatitis B and Pneumonia vaccines.

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Vaccination Myth Busters NW 17

Fact or fiction? This handout, available in English and Spanish, dispels some of the myths and highlights the facts about the Pneumonia and Hepatitis B vaccinations.

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Vaccination Wallet Card

Give this wallet card to your dialysis patients to help them keep track of the important vaccinations they need. 

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Vaccines for People on Dialysis

This flyer provides recommended immunizations for people on dialysis.

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What Kidney Patients Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

This is a two-page flyer that provides general informational about how COVID-19 affects dialysis patients, how to prevent it, and available treatments. English Spanish

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Why Not Vaccinate Handout

Use this form with patients to identify why patients are choosing not to be vaccinated and develop a plan to address vaccination with patients.

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Why Not Vaccinate? (Spanish)

Use this Spanish-language form with patients to identify why patients are choosing not to be vaccinated and develop a plan to address vaccination with patients.

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