“Through this massive registry, we had access to records of more than 18,000 kidney patients, which represents the biggest chronic kidney disease population in the province,” explains Atiquzzaman.
Importantly, BC Renal has continuously added vaccination data to the registry since the vaccines were initially rolled out across the province in December, 2020. In their study, the researchers analyzed the correlation between COVID-19 vaccination status and risk of contracting the virus, finding that people’s risk of infection was 59%, 71% and 78% less with 1, 2, and 3 doses, respectively, compared to pre-vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.
As well, the risk of developing a severe COVID-19 related outcome, such as hospitalization or death, was 53%, 84%, and 90% less among patients with CKD who were vaccinated with 1, 2, and 3 doses, respectively, compared to pre-vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.
“Our conclusion is that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection, as well as hospitalization or death,” says Atiquzzaman, emphasizing that being vaccinated could save lives.
The study also compared the benefits of vaccination in non-dialysis kidney patients with relatively lower or higher kidney function. Atiquzzaman’s team was somewhat surprised to find that people with greater kidney function had a higher risk of contracting the virus despite being vaccinated; however, they speculate that this may be because of behaviour differences, whereby people with lower kidney function may be more careful in limiting their chances of exposure to the virus in the first place.
Atiquzzaman emphasizes that the data in this study only captures COVID-19 infections up until December 2021, and therefore doesn’t accurately capture vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant.