Statement of Bill Valle, Chief Executive Officer of FMCNA:
"Today's decision to provide vaccine directly to dialysis centers nationwide will absolutely save many lives by reaching some of the most vulnerable people at highest risk. While some states have already taken the lead in getting vaccine to dialysis patients, we applaud the administration for implementing a national plan to ensure all patients across the country have equal access.
"This is simply a matter of health equity as more than half our patients identify as ethnic minorities and the majority are older patients who face hurdles including digital literacy and transportation that make other vaccine distribution models ineffective for this group. Our company has worked tirelessly to increase access to care for the most vulnerable populations across the U.S and this effort to vaccinate our patients is no different.
"We greatly appreciate the strong support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national kidney organizations, and those members of Congress who helped us advocate for this national strategy. We pledge to continue to work tirelessly to educate our patients on the importance of vaccination and will work to administer doses quickly and effectively across the country."
Statement of Dr. Rob Kossmann, EVP and Chief Medical Officer of FMCNA:
"People living with kidney failure are typically treated in our dialysis centers three times a week, and the majority manage additional conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These conditions put our patients at much higher risk of severe complications, hospitalization, and death if they contract COVID-19. They also often face transportation and other challenges that make accessing a vaccine on their own very difficult. As our nurses routinely provide other vaccinations and medications in our dialysis centers, this national rollout is an essential step forward.
"Our medical office has strong confidence in these vaccines and has been working to help educate all patients about the safety and benefits of receiving the vaccine immediately when it is offered to them. We appreciate the strong support from the many advocates and partners who have been working to make this allocation possible. This direct distribution of vaccine will no doubt have a major impact in protecting our patients from this deadly virus."
FMCNA has been advocating for state and federal vaccine allocations since last year. In January, the company published an opinion piece in the New York Times that urged federal action. In February, FMCNA signed a letter from the American Society of Nephrology and other stakeholders urging the White House to allocate vaccine directly to dialysis centers.
As part of this allocation, FMCNA has been designated a vaccine administrator and agreed to help support distribution of vaccine to smaller dialysis providers.
At the end of 2018, more than 550,000 Americans were living with kidney failure and relying on regular dialysis treatments to perform the essential function of their kidneys.1
African Americans are 3.5 times more likely to have kidney failure than the general population, and Native Americans and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely.1 All of these groups are at least 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, while studies suggest people with kidney failure are 11 times more likely be hospitalized.2
Oetjens, M. et al. Electronic health record analysis identifies kidney disease as the leading risk factor for hospitalization in confirmed COVID-19 patients. Plus One. Published online Nov. 2020.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities and outpatient cardiac and vascular labs, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated healthcare services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world's largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products, and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com/.
Media Contacts: Fresenius Medical Care North America Brad Puffer Corporate Communications [email protected] (781) 699-3331