Fighting COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccination of WashU Dialysis Patients a Huge Success!

“We felt it was very important to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the dialysis units for our patients,” says WashU nephrologist Anitha Vijayan about the recent undertaking to administer the vaccine to patients on dialysis.  Although patients with end-stage kidney disease are a highly vulnerable population for complications from COVID-19 infection, many have limited resources to get the vaccine. Patients face problems such as having no internet access, difficulty using online vaccination scheduling systems, and finding transportation to and from vaccination sites. 

Anitha Vijayan organized COVID-19 vaccination of our dialysis patients.

Vijayan, MD, FASN, Medical Director of Acute Dialysis Services, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and member of the ASN COVID-19 Task Force, collaborated with WashU infectious disease physician and BJC epidemiologist, Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, who worked with BJC leadership and the BJC pharmacy team to bring the vaccines to the dialysis units.  The BJC pharmacists administered the vaccine to our patients. 

“The vaccination effort was a huge success!” says Vijayan. “A total of 220 patients – approximately 50% of the patients in Forest Park, North County, and Chromalloy Kidney Center (CAKC) WashU Nephrology dialysis centers – received the vaccine. Everyone who wanted the vaccine, and had not received it elsewhere, was able to get their shot.”

“We are all so grateful to Dr. Babcock and to the BJC pharmacists who worked so hard to get this done. Our patients are so relieved and thankful for their shots.”

Anitha Vijayan, MD, FASN, Professor of Medicine, WashU Nephrology
Quincy Watson is happy to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Members of the WashU Nephrology team also deserve a round of applause for their efforts to organize the vaccinations.  Christie Smith, CAKC Nurse Administrator, Tom Gowen, North County Nurse Manager, Patty Anderson, Forest Park Nurse  Administrator, and Shawna McMichael, Home Modalities Nurse Manager, were all vital in getting this done.

Mary Anthony is one of 220 dialysis patients to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It has been amazing. Thank you for bringing the vaccine to our patients who had no other way of getting it.” 

Christie Smith, RN, CAKC Nurse Administrator
BJC pharmacist vaccinates Frank Spain

“The clinic ran very smoothly due to the great planning. I have rarely seen so many people smiling while having an intramuscular injection of mRNA wrapped in lipid nanoparticles!”

Tom Gowen, RN, North County Nurse Manager
Randy McCallum rests after getting vaccinated.

“Kudos to Dr. Vijayan for facilitating COVID vaccinations for our dialysis patients.  This is just another demonstration of our leadership in the renal community and continued commitment to providing exceptional care to our patients.”

Shawna McMichael, BSN, RN, Home Modalities Nurse Manager
Leroy Parks gets COVID-19 Vaccine.

The event also made it convenient for several of the employees to receive the vaccine.  Dialysis Technician Orin Jethroe, picture below, was one of five employees who took advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

Dialysis Technician Orin Jethroe, Forest Park Dialysis Center, made the choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please see the related article about how the ASN is leading efforts to advance equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to dialysis patients.

On Twitter, follow @VijayanMD, @h_babcock, @BJC_HealthCare, and @ASNKidney, and stay updated with WashU Division of Nephrology @WUNephrology.