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March 12, 2020 | News, Patient News

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Dialysis/Kidney Patients

Some dialysis/kidney patients who are eligible for the vaccine have already started getting vaccinated at vaccination clinics, care homes/congregate living facilities, or in First Nation communities.

As more vaccine becomes available, Manitoba expands its eligibility criteria. When more opportunities become available to renal/dialysis patients, we will share that information here and through your care site. Visit www.manitoba.ca/vaccine for all of Manitoba’s vaccine information. The information below is current as of April 7, 2021.

Right now there are three main ways for renal/dialysis patients to get a COVID-19 vaccine – click on each option below to read more about them:

Eligibility: You can find your eligibility – currently based on age and job – on Manitoba’s vaccine eligibility website here. The criteria changes often – to get the most up-to-date information visit the website or call: 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862.

Locations: Supersite and Pop-up Clinic locations are listed here.

All kidney and dialysis patients who are eligible and able to get vaccinated at a supersite or pop-up clinic are encouraged to receive their vaccine.

When possible, Manitoba FIT teams (mobile vaccination teams) will be working with urban hemodialysis units to give COVID-19 vaccines to patients while they receive dialysis. If this is happening in your unit, it will be discussed with you and you will have to sign a consent form. This is starting the week of March 29, 2021.

These units were prioritized because they have high numbers of patients and are located in large facilities. If additional opportunities become available to rural dialysis units or other dialysis patients, we will post that information here.

NOTE: MRP will aim to keep this web page updated but you can find the most up-to-date information here.

Eligibility: Manitoba has created two priority groups, based on medical conditions, who may be able to get the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine from their doctor or pharmacist if supply is available. You can read who is on the priority lists here.

In addition to this, as of April 7, anyone age 65 and older is now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine at a participating medical clinic or pharmacy.  Priority should be given to people in this age group who might face barriers in accessing a supersite or pop-up clinic.

Priority 1 Group includes the following people who are ages 55 to 64:

  • People receiving home hemodialysis, in-centre hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis
  • Renal clinic patients on the kidney transplant list
  • Renal clinic patients on rituximab, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, chronic dose prednisone >=20mg/day, mycophenolate.
  • READ THE WHOLE LIST HERE

How can people in the Priority 1 Group get the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine?

  • Your doctor’s office or pharmacy may be able to vaccinate you. Supply is limited. Your doctor or pharmacist may call you or you can find availability here.

Priority 2 Group includes all people with diagnosed chronic kidney disease ages 55 to 64. READ THE WHOLE LIST HERE.

  • Availability may depend on when the Priority 1 Group is completed and when more supply is available. Visit here to look for updates.


COVID-19: What do I need to know?

If you have kidney disease, you are at a higher risk of getting an infection or having complications from an infection. Click on the questions below for more information.

  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat/Hoarse voice
  • Fever/Chills
  • Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Skin rash of unknown cause

Those at higher risk typically develop more serious, even fatal, symptoms such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

All renal/dialysis patients without symptoms should come to appointments unless your unit contacts you to make a change. Call your unit before coming in if you are supposed to be self-isolating for any reason (i.e. travel, possible contact with someone who has COVID-19, etc.)

NO VISITORS IN UNITS: Visitors are still not allowed in outpatient areas of are which includes dialysis units. Thank you for your understanding as we take every measure to protect you, your loved ones and our staff. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

MASKS: As of September 1, 2020, all outpatients coming into any Manitoba hospital MUST wear a non-medical mask. This includes anyone coming to the hospital for a kidney health clinic, home dialysis or in-centre hemodialysis appointment. Read more

Don’t miss or skip treatments:

The hospitals and units are implementing many measures to ensure all hemodialysis patients are provided the safest care. Dialysis treatments are life-sustaining and coming to the hospital for regularly scheduled dialysis treatments in a carefully managed environment is the SAFEST option for hemodialysis patients. Patients who skip or miss dialysis treatments may experience adverse health outcomes and require emergency medical services such as urgent care or emergency room care. If you have symptoms – see the info below.

If you have symptoms:

  • Call Health Links – Info Santé 1-888-315-9257 or 204-788-8200. If you need urgent medical care, call 911. Make sure they know you are a dialysis patient.

If you have symptoms OR are are required to self-isolate:

  • Call your renal unit before you leave your house for a dialysis treatment or clinic visit
  • Do not come to the dialysis unit until you have talked to your Dialysis Unit. We will plan for your dialysis in a way that keeps you and others from being exposed to COVID-19.
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 at another location, please phone and alert the dialysis unit BEFORE coming for dialysis

We want to keep you and your family safe. We also need to ensure that you have access to a safe place for your renal/dialysis care. No visitors are allowed in the unit and you may be asked questions, and asked to wash hands or use hand sanitizer, when you come for your appointment.

Call 1-888-315-9257 OR your renal/dialysis unit if you are unwell or are required to self-isolate so that we can keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Here are steps that you and your family can do to help lower the risk of infection:

  • Limit travel. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 may be higher in other areas of Canada. Do not travel to areas that require you to isolate for 14 days upon returning.
  • Wash your hands: Before, during and after making meals, Before, during and after making meals, Before eating, After using the toilet, When your hands are dirty
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Use a tissue or your sleeve. Throw tissues you have used in the garbage and wash your hands right away.
  • Stay six feet (two meters) away from others when possible.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Do not shake hands or give hugs.
  • Do not share items such as drinking glasses, spoons/forks or tooth brushes.
  • Clean (disinfect) surfaces such as phones, computer, tables, chairs, countertops, door knobs.
  • Avoid groups of people.

For more information on COVID-19 visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/ .

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