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February 2021 CKD Insider Newsletter

Welcome to the Chronic Kidney Disease Insider Newsletter. If you are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis, have had a kidney transplant or are helping care for someone who is, this newsletter was created for you! The content is meant to keep you and/or a family member up to date on the latest information to help you manage your health now and in the near future in consultation with your physician.

In this month’s CKD Insider: COVID-19 Updates, new support networks, new KDIGO blood pressure guidelines, new tool for child CKD management, COVID-19 research participation and the Fun Tip of the Day!



Latest vaccine to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 The latest emergency use authorization (EUA) was given to Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) for their COVID-19 vaccine. We now have 3 vaccines available in the United States with EUA’s. All three vaccines provide protective benefits against COVID-19 infection. If you are able to get a vaccine it is recommended that you take one of these three and not wait for a specific one unless there is specific reasoning from your physician or you have a known allergic reaction to components of the vaccine. For a quick comparison see the table above and read the FACT Sheets for additional detail via the links below. Authorization conditions include reporting adverse events and periodic safety reports to the FDA, which can lead to revisions of the EUA over time.

FDA EUA FACT Sheets for Recipients & Caregivers: Janssen COVID-19 Moderna Pfizer-BioNTech Support for an increase in SARS-CoV-2 surveillance testing submitted The house of representatives introduced bill H.R. 791 "Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act" to congress this month with the overall goal to provide increased funding for tracking and characterizing SARS-CoV-2 variants across the country. As a reminder SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease COVID-19. Viruses naturally change and evolve through mutations; the culmination of multiple mutations create what is called a new variant (similar to a new branch on a family tree). Many of these changes have no effect on the virus’s ability to function, but some do. This is why it is important to sequence the virus’s genome from a person that has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and characterize any new variants identified. The CDC recently created the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance system (NS3 system) to scale up next generation sequencing and characterization of new strains identified here or abroad. Public health officials use the information from these genomic surveillance studies to help understand how a new variant might impact the virus’s ability to spread easier, cause more severe disease, or escape the body’s immune response. This information can help determine the best treatments and the effectiveness of available vaccines. Any funding that is granted from the H.R. 791 bill will be provided through the CDCs existing Advanced Molecular Detection Initiative, which includes the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology, and Surveillance (SPHERES) through a public-private partnership between the CDC, public health labs and various universities.


The KDIGO 2021 Blood Pressure in CKD guidelines provides guidance for doctors when treating people with CKD pre-dialysis and post kidney transplantation. The aim is for more intensive blood pressure management for both groups by their physicians. The KDIGO executive conclusions publication gives you a nice summary. Figure 1 on page 3 shows the key guidance in an easy to view manner. Figure 2 on page 4 gives the detailed recommendations for physicians to move from general office BP measure practices to the recommended standardized office BP measurement. This is the latest update since their 2012 guidelines. Data from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) sponsored by the NIH and other analyses was the foundation for the updates.


Looking to connect with other people with similar experiences? Check out the new kidney focused community networks: Transplant Lyfe A new community website created for kidney transplant recipients to come together and support each other. NKF Patient Network The first nationwide registry for people at all stages of kidney disease developed to provide resources for individualized education, tips and support. This site also gives you the option to share your health data for research purposes. Crowdsourcing kidney data can lead to great advancements – see previous genomics focused newsletters.


Become an Artist!

If it’s cold where you are and you are resigned to be indoors more than normal or just need a new outdoor activity, try taking an art class online or just experimenting on your own with a sketch pad or canvas! The art you create will forever be a reminder of this time in your life and will bring joy and/or understanding from others beyond yourself. An added benefit is the emotional resilience that art can help bring during these challenging times. See the American Art Therapy Association to learn more.


Do you have a child with kidney disease or know someone who does? The new NKF Pediatric Risk Calculator is designed to help with managing a child’s kidney disease. It uses clinical data from the CKiD study to help give guidance on the expected trajectory of a child’s kidney disease allowing parents and caregivers to plan better including determining the estimated appropriate timing for initiation of transplant evaluation or preparation for dialysis to achieve the best outcomes possible for children with CKD.


Hemodialysis and COVID-19 vaccination research study What it is: Johns Hopkins Department of Surgery is conducting a research study to determine the COVID-19 related antibody levels in patients on hemodialysis. If you are currently on hemodialysis and have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and are interested in participating in this research study please go to: Why it's important: The data generated could help researchers understand the symptoms and clinical course of COVID-19 infection in people on maintenance hemodialysis. To be clear: The study does not provide the vaccine, and the study team will not be offering guidance as to whether or not one should receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


NATIONAL KIDNEY MONTH! Take charge of your health wherever you are in the progression of your CKD. This month is a global reminder to take charge of your health and be a force for change with others! World Kidney Day is March 11, 2021. This Global Campaign is designed to raise awareness of the need to have good kidney health. NKF Kidney Walk Season has started, find a walk near you! This is a great way to get outdoors in a safe physically distant manner and also connect with others in the community.


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