Influenza (the Flu) Season is upon us, and Chronic Kidney Disease patients, especially those on Dialysis are at risk. It is often confusing for patients to know what shots to take and others to avoid in order to protect themselves while preventing negative side effects. Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death among people with Chronic Kidney Disease. Matters are worse for those on Dialysis where infection accounts for a large portion of hospitalizations and individuals are three to four times more likely to contract Pneumonia as well as worsen already existing health problems which can lead to life-threatening complications after catching the Flu. Adults with CKD will likely be interested in the following insights to limit chances of getting severely sick.
Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients do not trust taking Immunization Shots because they contain either a weakened or killed version of a particular bacteria or virus which they are intended to guard against. Some patients report experiencing symptoms of discomfort such as soreness, rash, or even a slight fever which supports their theory that the shots do 'more harm than good.' However, such symptoms are normal and should not cause alarm.
The fact is that while washing your hands and staying away from sick people may help prevent contracting a virus or bacterial infection, these tactics will not always work. Since Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients’ immune systems are not as strong as a person in the general population, there is a greater risk of contracting a disease. That is why they are encouraged to take their Immunization Shots as scheduled (see below).
The following schedule provided by DaVita Inc. is found to be ideal for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to take their necessary shots:
Influenza - 1 dose once per year
Pneumococcal - 1 or 2 doses
Hepatitis B - 3 doses
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) - 1 or 2 doses
Meningococcal - 1 or more doses (dependent on patient)
Varicella (chickenpox vaccine) - 2 doses
Tetanus - 1 dose every 10 years
Talk with your Healthcare Team about any concerns you have after you are vaccinated.
Do you take your Immunization Shots? What are additional steps you take to avoid infection? Your insights could be very helpful to other patients so share your responses with the nearly 78,000 friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here). Also, consider following the 250,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.