ANNA and Kidney Care Community Urge Biden Administration to Prioritize Individuals with Kidney Disease in Federal COVID-19 Response
ANNA joined members of the kidney care community in corresponding with the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the federal response to the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. The groups urged the Biden Administration, HHS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies to prioritize the unique needs of individuals with kidney disease – especially individuals receiving dialysis – in the federal response. Individuals with kidney disease have been significantly affected by the COVID pandemic as a result of their high risk for infection, serious illness, comorbidities, and greater likelihood to die from the virus. To address issues that are impacting this patient population, ANNA and other kidney care community members urged the Biden Administration to work with stakeholders to:
- Alleviate supply crises at dialysis facilities due to supply chain challenges/breakdowns and staff shortages.
- Distribute high-level, government-approved face masks to dialysis facilities.
- Issue clarification regarding Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policies related to the use of pre-filled saline syringes and saline protocols
- Encourage state and federal governments to allow reciprocity for nurses to allow for interstate practice, regardless of whether the state is a compact state, during this acute crisis.
- Urge the FDA to recognize waning immunity in vaccinated people with kidney failure and ensure treatments approved through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the immunocompromised include people with kidney failure.
- Prioritize individuals receiving dialysis and staff for access to COVID-19 therapeutics.